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Men Arrested At Starbucks Claim Manager Called The Police On Them After Two Minutes

REUTERS/Mark Makela

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter

The two men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks said it took the manager a mere two minutes after interacting with them to call the police on them.

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, the two men arrested last week, said they entered the Starbucks and were denied the use of the bathroom because they hadn’t paid for anything, the pair told a “Good Morning America” host Thursday.

The two then sat down with water bottles at a table to wait for their friend. The manager placed a call to the police about them two minutes later, they alleged.

“It can’t be for us. Initially, as soon as they approached us, they said we have to leave,” Robinson said of the police showing up to arrest them. “There was no question of, ‘Was there a problem here with you guys and a manager, you know, what happened?’ At the time, we’re not read any rights. Nothing. Just double locked. Handcuffed behind our backs and escorted out and put into a squad car.”

A video of the incident went viral on social media, leading Starbucks leaders to apologize about the incident and vow to make amends by shutting down 8,000 stores for one afternoon on May 29 to have employees take unconscious bias training.

Robinson and Nelson were released from jail shortly after the incident. The two are currently in mediation with Starbucks and are trying to enact certain policy changes in Starbucks. They want a customer bill of rights placed in the stores and a set of new policies on racial profiling and when to remove customers from the premises.

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