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Starbucks to close all U.S. stores May 29 for ‘racial-bias education’

Starbucks to close all U.S. stores May 29 for ‘racial-bias education’

Starbucks to close all U.S. stores May 29 for ‘racial-bias education’
April 17
21:07 2018
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UPDATE: Philadelphia police have released a recording of the call from the Starbucks employee that led to the arrest of two black men.

In the recording, a woman is heard saying, “Hi, I have two gentlemen in my cafe that are refusing to make a purchase or leave.” She gives the address of the Starbucks store, and the entire call lasts less than 30 seconds.

In the communications between police and dispatch that were also released, someone refers to the situation as a “disturbance,” and additional officers are sent.

NEW YORK — Starbucks says it will close its more than 8,000 U.S. stores for several hours next month to conduct racial-bias training to its nearly 175,000 workers.

The announcement comes after two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks store, sparking protests and calls for a boycott on social media.


Demonstrators occupy the Starbucks that has become the center of protests Monday, April 16, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

Starbucks Corp. says the stores will be closed on the afternoon on May 29. Its corporate offices will also be closed at that time.

CEO Kevin Johnson met with the two black men who were arrested in a Philadelphia store last week.


Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, center, walks towards a meeting with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and other officials Monday April 16, 2018, at Philadelphia City Hall. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

A Starbucks spokeswoman confirmed the meeting happened Monday but declined to give any details. A lawyer for the men did not immediately return messages for comment.

Johnson, who called the arrests “reprehensible,” had said that he wanted to apologize to the men face-to-face.

Video shows several police talking quietly with two black men seated at a table. After a few minutes, officers handcuff the men and lead them outside as other customers say they weren’t doing anything wrong; Philadelphia-area media reported the two had been waiting for a friend.

Starbucks says the employee who called police on two black men who were sitting inside a Philadelphia store no longer works at that location.



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