Starbucks’ CEO on Monday called for “unconscious bias” training for the coffee corporation’s employees after one local manager called the police on two black men in Philadelphia.
CEO Kevin Johnson plans to institute bias training as well as implement standards on how Starbucks employees should be dealing with situations that may call for police help, reports USA Today.
“I’d like to have a dialogue with them so that I can ensure that we have the opportunity to really understand the situation and show some compassion and empathy for the experience they went through,” Johnson said on Good Morning America. “Finally, as we’re working to solve this I’d like to invite them to join me in finding a constructive way in solving this issue.”
Starbucks is facing a backlash after one of their Philadelphia managers reportedly called 911 on two black men for trespassing. According to the police account, the two men tried to use the bathroom, but were denied because they had not purchased anything.
Police said they were called after the men refused to leave. They had been waiting for a friend to show up, according to a lawyer for the two men.
Protesters took over the Philadelphia Starbucks, vowing to shut it down in light of the incident.
“Starbucks was built as a company that creates a warm, welcoming environment for all customers. That didn’t happen in this case,” Johnson added. “I’ve been very focused on understanding what guidelines and what training ever let this happen. What happened was wrong and we will fix it.”
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