He’s made no excuses, did not try to spin the story in the least. So it’s no surprise that Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson is traveling to Philadelphia to do damage control after a video showing two black men arrested at one of the Seattle-based coffee company’s Center City locations went viral over the weekend.
A video captured Philadelphia Police officers handcuffing the two men, who were waiting at the 18th and Spruce streets Starbucks to meet a third friend, as other customers asked aloud what the pair had done to warrant a call to authorities, writes Alison Burdo in the Philadelphia Business Journal.
In a lengthy apology, Johnson called the incident “disheartening” and “reprehensible,” and said the company is investigating. He also said in the written apology he wanted “to reassure you that Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling.”
Johnson said he plans to join the regional vice president this week to meet with local community leaders and law enforcement.
“Most importantly, I hope to meet personally with the two men who were arrested to offer a face-to-face apology,” he said. “The video shot by customers is very hard to watch and the actions in it are not representative of our Starbucks Mission and Values. Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store. Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome—the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong. Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did.”
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