Two Black Men Arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks

Amanda Swank, Author

On April 12th, a Starbucks store manager called the police on Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson while they were waiting for a business meeting.  Earlier, the (now former) Starbucks manager, Holly Hylton, refused to allow Nelson access to the restroom because he was not a paying customer. Then, they were told to leave.

Protesters gather outside of Starbucks on April 15 2018

A video of the men being taken out in handcuffs has gone viral, its a perfect example of racial profiling and modern-day racism. Neither of the men made any attempt to resist arrest. They spent hours in a jail cell with no outside contact, until they were released at midnight. The district attorney declined to prosecute them for trespassing.

A former employee who worked with Hylton said that, “She always found a reason to kick Black people out.”, and often called the cops on them. Hylton has since been fired, and no longer works there.

Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson, has met with Nelson and Robinson to offer a face-to-face apology. Starbucks will close over 8,000 stores across the United States on May 29th to conduct anti-bias training, offering training to over 175,000 employees.