PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Community members and protesters have gathered outside a Starbucks in Rittenhouse Square to express their dissatisfaction over a controversial incident that occurred on Thursday.
Protesters say they saw the apology that Starbucks made but feel it was made in hopes that the incident would be forgotten after. They came out here to show that is not going to happen until they get more than words.
“No longer, no further,” the protesters chanted outside of the Spruce Street Starbucks.
Nearly 100 people gathered outside of the Rittenhouse Square Starbucks, where a manager called the police on two African American men and had them arrested on April 12th. The men were sitting in the Starbucks for just a few minutes waiting for a friend to discuss real estate business.
The incident was captured on camera and inspired public outrage.
“I’ve sat in this Starbucks, this Starbucks right here, without purchasing anything, you know working on something with my friends,” said Alyssa Posoff. “I’ve never had a problem.”
Despite Starbucks issuing a public apology Saturday, things are not dying down.
Protestors are not only calling for a continued boycott of the business, but they are also demanding for the manager of the store to be fired.
In order to make that message clear, the crowd went into the Starbucks to speak with a corporate representative.
The crowd was clearly unhappy with the representative who was seemingly defending the store manager now.
Several of the protesters said they were encouraged by the number of diverse faces that attended Sunday’s protest to stand up for the two African American men who were arrested.
Attorney Lauren Wimmer, who is representing the men, said, “These guys were doing what people do every single day. They were having a meeting and they were undoubtedly singled out because of their race.”
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson posted a statement Saturday night to address the situation.
He called it “disheartening” and said that it led to a “reprehensible” outcome.
Philadelphia-native actor and entertainer, Kevin Hart has been very vocal about his dissatisfaction with the handling of the mens’ arrest.
He shared several tweets pertaining to Starbucks and the measures that have been taken so far.
Hart urges Starbucks to “do what’s right”.
His final tweet in the thread addressing the matter expresses that Philadelphia is “shining bright like a diamond right now”.
Others, such as former professional tennis player Billie Jean King, have made their feelings known as well.
In his official statement, CEO Kevin Johnson said, “You can and should expect more from us. We will learn from this and be better.”
The CEO has also stated that he would like to meet face-to-face with the men involved and apologize.
Philadelphia councilman Kenyatta Johnson is holding a press conference at 4 p.m Monday, at the Spruce Street Starbucks.
Johnson says he plans on joining community leaders to denounce racial profiling in places of public accommodation.