PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The NAACP and city leaders in Philadelphia are speaking out following the controversial arrests of two black men at a Rittenhouse Starbucks last week.
The NAACP says it wants Starbucks to fire the store manager after employees called police to say the men were trespassing.
The NAACP is asking Starbucks to issue an apology to the black community and the Philadelphia public. They are also asking the company review its existing policies.
Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson wants to see change.
“Well we want to see action. We want to see an actual plan that makes sure that those individuals that come to and from Starbucks, not only here or 18th and Spruce Street, but all throughout the city of Philadelphia, are respected and they can go to the establishment without fear of being targeted because of their skin color,” said Johnson.
Officials said police officers were told the men had asked to use the store’s restroom but were denied because they hadn’t bought anything and they refused to leave.
Police haven’t released the names of the men who were arrested and later released after the district attorney’s office said there was lack of evidence that a crime had been committed.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has called the arrests a “reprehensible outcome” and said he wants to personally apologize to the men. A spokesperson with Starbucks says Johnson is in Philadelphia and is scheduled to meet with the two men Monday morning.