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.

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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.

 

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.

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“We deny the claims of the lawsuit and are prepared to defend our case in court,” the spokesperson told CBS3.