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Protesters pack into Philadelphia Starbucks after controversial arrest, chant store is ‘anti-black’


A Philadelphia Starbucks is under fire after the arrest of two black men who they allege were trespassing. The men apparently asked to use the bathroom but were detained because they hadn't bought anything and they refused to leave.Video

Starbucks protests: What to know

A Philadelphia Starbucks is under fire after the arrest of two black men who they allege were trespassing. The men apparently asked to use the bathroom but were detained because they hadn’t bought anything and they refused to leave.

Protesters on Monday packed a Philadelphia Starbucks – the site where two black men were arrested after store employees called police to say they were trespassing, sparking a days-long controversy.

More than two dozen protesters crowded the store and chanted “Starbucks coffee is anti-black.”

Local Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif, left, stands inside a Starbucks, Sunday April 15, 2018, demanding the firing of the manager who called police resulting the arrest of two black men on Thursday. The arrests were captured on video that quickly gained traction on social media. (Mark Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

April 15, 2018: Local Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif, left, stands inside a Starbucks demanding the firing of the manager whose call to police resulted in the arrest of two black men on Thursday.

 (Mark Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

“This is what systemic white supremacy looks like,” one protester said into a microphone.

A Starbucks regional manager told FOX29 Philadelphia the protesters could remain in the store as long as the demonstrations remained peaceful.

Philadelphia police form a line in front of the Starbucks that was at the center of a Black Lives Matter protest on Sunday, April 15, 2018. Two black men were arrested Thursday after Starbucks employees called police to say the men were trespassing. The arrest prompted accusations of racism on social media. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson posted a lengthy statement Saturday night, calling the situation disheartening and that it led to a reprehensible outcome. (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

April 15, 2018: Philadelphia police form a line in front of the Starbucks that was at the center of a Black Lives Matter protest.

 (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

“No cop zone, no cop zone, they know better,” the protesters chanted. “No good cops in a racist system.”

Protesters were surrounded by uniformed and plain-clothed police officers.

Demonstrators over the weekend called for the firing of the employee who contacted the police and had the men arrested last week.

A Philadelphia plain clothes police officer, left, pushes back on a counter protester, center, who tried to disrupt a local Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Starbucks in Philadelphia on Sunday April 15, 2018. Two black men were arrested Thursday after employees at the coffee shop called police to say the men were trespassing. The arrest prompted accusations of racism on social media. (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

April 15, 2018: A Philadelphia plain clothes police officer, left, pushes back on a counter protester, center, who tried to disrupt a local Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Starbucks in Philadelphia.

 (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Police officers were told the men had asked to use the store’s bathroom but were detained because they hadn’t bought anything and they refused to leave.

On Sunday, Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Richard Ross defended the officers for detaining the two men.

“The police did not just happen upon this event, they did not just walk into Starbucks to get a coffee,” he said in a Facebook video. “They were called there, for a service, and that service had to do with quelling a disturbance, a disturbance that had to do with trespassing.”

Ross said the officers “followed policy” and did what they were supposed to do. He said that his department makes sure that officers receive “implicit bias training.”

Protesters gather outside of a  Starbucks in Philadelphia, Sunday, April 15, 2018, where two black men were arrested Thursday after employees called police to say the men were trespassing. The arrest prompted accusations of racism on social media. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson posted a lengthy statement Saturday night, calling the situation disheartening and that it led to a reprehensible outcome.  (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

April 15, 2018: Protesters gather outside of a Starbucks in Philadelphia where two black men were arrested Thursday after employees called police to say the men were trespassing.

 (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

“I will say, that as an African-American male, I am very aware of implicit bias,” Ross said. “We are committed to fair and unbiased policing and anything less than that will not be tolerated in this department.”

Kevin Johnson, the CEO of Starbucks, said in a statement Saturday he’d like to personally apologize to the men, adding the company “stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling.”

Johnson said the company’s practices and training led to a “bad outcome,” and the reason for the call that brought police into the shop was incorrect.

“Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did,” said the statement. Johnson said videos of the arrest were “very hard to watch,” and the company was investigating.

Police didn’t release the names of the men who were arrested. The two men were released after the district attorney’s office said there wasn’t sufficient evidence a crime had been committed.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/04/16/protesters-pack-into-philadelphia-starbucks-after-controversial-arrest-chant-store-is-anti-black.html

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