Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Starbucks and two black men arrested in Philadelphia incident reach private settlement

Rashon Nelson left and Donte Robinson right both 23 listen to a reporter's question during an interview with The Associated Press in Philadelphia Starbucks and two black men arrested in Philadelphia incident reach private settlement
Jodi Jackson | 03 May, 2018, 17:27

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested in Philadelphia on April 12, sparking global outrage, protests at Starbucks outlets and anguished soul-searching about America's lingering problems of racial discrimination.

They were eventually asked to leave, and when they did not, an employee called the police.

What took place subsequent has been captured on videos that have been viewed countless times on social networking. "Because there are two black guys sitting here meeting me?" They spent hours in jail before being being released without charge.

Mr Robinson and Mr Nelson have now dropped their legal action against the city, agreeing to a symbolic $1 each in compensation and the commitment of $200,000 (£150,000) from officials to fund an entrepreneurship program for public school students.

Even the arrests motivated a #BoycottStarbucks effort and protests at the retail store.

During the uproar, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson came to Philadelphia to apologize to the men. He also announced that more than 8,000 Starbucks stores in the U.S. would close on the afternoon of May 29 so 175,000 employees can get training in unconscious bias. The training was provided to almost 175,000 employees across the country, and will become part of the on-boarding process for new employees, whom Starbucks calls partners.

Ross was widely criticised after he initially said his "officers did absolutely nothing wrong" during the arrests which followed a 911 call from a Starbucks worker who said the men were trespassing after refusing to buy anything.

Mr. Nelson and Mr. Robinson claimed in a interview about ABC's "Good Morning America" weekly soon after the arrest they had been awaiting at the Starbucks for a small business meeting between a actual estate job they had been focusing on for months.

As Johnson said previously, “I want to thank Donte and Rashon for their willingness to reconcile.

"Everything I want is to get teenagers to not be traumatized with thisparticular, and as an alternative moved, motivated".

The agreement finalized earlier this week also includes "continued listening and dialogue between the parties and specific action and opportunity" and and the opportunity for the two to complete their undergraduate degrees through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, a partnership with Arizona State University that enables Starbucks workers to earn their bachelor's degrees with full tuition coverage, the company said.

Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson are seen in this undated photo.

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