PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The former regional manager of a Center City Starbucks where two black men were arrested last year for sitting inside the store is suing the company for allegedly discriminating against white people. In a lawsuit obtained by CBS3, Shannon Phillips claims she was fired less than a month after the high-profile incident because she is white.
She alleges the company discriminated in an effort to convince the community it properly responded to the incident.
Phillips’ lawyer, who refused to comment, is asking for a jury trial.
During the 2018 incident, Rashon Nelson and his business partner Donte Robinson were taken away from the Starbucks in handcuffs after a manager called police because the two had not made a purchase. Instead, the men told the manager they were waiting for a third person to arrive for a business meeting.
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci
— Melissa “That White Lady” DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
Protesters of the arrests believe the men were targeted because of their race.
A Starbucks spokesperson says they are ready to defend their case in court.
“We deny the claims of the lawsuit and are prepared to defend our case in court,” the spokesperson told CBS3.