Black men arrested at Starbucks settle with Philly for $2

Erika Holt
May 3, 2018

Two black men arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything have settled with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from officials to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.

The company says the decision was reached with Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson after "constructive conversations" and "mediation before a retired federal judge".

Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson said he welcomed the chance to begin a relationship with Nelson and Robinson.

As for their Starbucks settlement, in addition to the unknown dollar amount they will be receiving, the company extended the opportunity for them to have their tuition for their bachelor's degrees fully covered through a partnership the chain has with Arizona State University, which consists of an online program created in 2014 for Starbucks employees.

'I am pleased to have resolved the potential claims against the city in this productive manner, ' mayor Jim Kenney said.

After video of Robinson and Nelson's arrest went viral, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized to the men and announced over 8,000 Starbucks stores in the USA would close on May 29 in order for 175,000 employees to receive training in unconscious bias.

Efforts to reach Mr. Nelson and Mr. Robinson on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

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"And I just left it at that", Nelson told "Good Morning America" last month.

Police said officers "politely" asked Nelson and Robinson to leave before arresting them. They certainly were requested to depart, and once they did not, law enforcement were called by a member of staff.

Starbucks plans to close 8,000 cafes for a half day of anti-bias training on 29 May.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who is black, at first defended his officers' conduct, but days later issued a televised apology for the way the Starbucks call was handled.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson slammed the treatment of the men and their arrest as "reprehensible".

As protests broke out at the Philadelphia Starbucks, Johnson and Schultz appeared in television interviews to pledge that the company would work to combat unconscious-bias and racial profiling among its employees.

"I want to make sure that this situation doesn't happen again", Mr. Robinson said of the arrest.

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