Starbucks to train workers on 'unconscious bias,' CEO says

30 April, 2018, 05:01 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • Starbucks

- Philadelphia native and comedian Kevin Hart has responded to the controversial arrest of two black men at a Center City Starbucks that has gone viral.

Video of the protests and the arrests of the two unidentified men spread widely on social media, sparking the Twitter hashtag #BoycottStarbucks.

Starbucks' chief executive has apologised for the "reprehensible" arrest of two black men for trespassing while waiting for a friend at the cafe. Another patron could be heard attesting that the men had not done anything and that it was unclear why the police were called.

Johnson said Starbucks is investigating the incident and plans to speak with the parties who were involved, including customers who were in the store at the time. And finally I'd like to invite them to be part of helping me in a constructive way to ensure this never happens again. Lauren Wimmer, a representative for the men, told The Washington Post that the district attorney found no evidence of a crime.

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Following the viral video, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued an apology on April 15, stating that "these two gentlemen did not deserve what happened, and we are accountable". He also said that managers will have training on how to spot "unconscious bias".

"I've been very focused on understanding what guidelines and what training ever let this happen", he said.

He said the company would further train workers on when to call police and host a company-wide meeting to "underscore our longstanding commitment to treating one another with respect and dignity".

The Philadelphia Police Department said on Friday evening that an internal investigation was underway and it would not comment until that was complete.

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Johnson, in his statement, said he hopes to personally apologize to the men who were arrested. "We really appreciate the transparency in the spirit with which we are working together", said Johnson.

"These officers did absolutely nothing wrong", Commissioner Richard Ross. "We take these matters seriously and clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our stores". He says the officers followed policy and "did what they were supposed to do".

After the incident, the men were reportedly held for almost 12 hours and then released without being charged.

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