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Starbucks' Howard Schultz "ashamed" after controversial arrest of two black men
May 25 2018, 02:54 | Alonzo Simpson
Starbucks Will Close More Than 8000 Stores To Hold Anti–Racial Bias Training In May
The world's biggest coffee company Starbucks will be closing more than 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States on the afternoon of May 29 to conduct racial-bias education, geared towards preventing discrimination within its stores. The training will be given to over 175,000 cafe employees across the country and will also be a required course for new employees.
Philadelphia police have released a recording of a 911 call from the Starbucks employee that led to the controversial arrests of two black men at one of its stores. Schultz said that there's a possibility the two men could end up working with the company. The incident illustrated the bias that can affect even the most normal activities such as meeting someone for coffee in the USA public spaces. The operator said she would send police. Johnson, a former technology executive was trying to increase the traffic for the company. "So, in another press release, the company said all of its company-owned stores will close on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29, so "[employees can] go through a training program created to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome". A few White customers even conveyed their outrage in videos on social media. Starbucks will spend that afternoon educating their employees about #Racial Bias. Officials have said the officers were told the men had asked to use the store's restroom but were denied because they hadn't bought anything, and they refused to leave. No charges were filed.
Starbucks isn't the only company introducing the training in an effort to combat discrimination.
The company announced Tuesday that the manager of the Philadelphia location seen in the video has resigned while an internal investigation continues.
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In a subsequent call, an unidentified man said a "group of males" was "causing a disturbance" that required backup and a supervisor.
"There's no doubt in my mind that the reason that [police] were called was because they were African American", Schultz added.
While the two arrested men have yet to be identified by name, the AP confirmed Johnson met in person with the pair April 16 to apologize.