Certain responses to extreme acts of discrimination shouldn’t be surprising, such is the case with the Philadelphia Police Chief who stated that the officers who arrested the black Starbucks customers were totally right in arresting them. Seriously, you can’t make this up.
Want to know the best way to make your police department look totally and utterly racist? Simple, just have your police chief blatantly say that the police officers who arrested two black men for simply waiting inside a local Starbucks, “did nothing wrong.” Reported by NBC News, that’s exactly what Philly Police Chief Richard Ross did when addressing the press in the incident that has called for a nationwide boycott of Starbucks and prompted a lengthy apology from the company.
Via NBC News:
Philadelphia’s police commissioner on defended officers who arrested two black men at a Starbucks, prompting accusations of racism on social media, concern from the mayor and an apology from the company. Videos posted online show officers handcuffing the men in the downtown establishment on Thursday. A white man in the video is heard saying he was meeting with the men and calls the arrest “ridiculous.”
[Police] Commissioner Richard Ross said Starbucks employees called 911 to say the men were trespassing. He said officers were told that the men had come in and asked to use the restroom but were denied because they hadn’t bought anything, as he said is company policy. He said they then refused to leave.
Ross, who is black, said police asked the men to leave three times but they refused, and they were then arrested but were later released after the company elected not to prosecute. He said the officers “did absolutely nothing wrong” and were professional in their conduct toward the individuals but “got the opposite back.” He did not mention the person who said he was meeting with the men. “As an African American male, I am very aware of implicit bias; we are committed to fair and unbiased policing,” Ross said. But he added “If a business calls and they say that ‘Someone is here that I no longer wish to be in my business’ (officers) now have a legal obligation to carry out their duties and they did just that.”
Meanwhile, Philly Mayor Jim Kenney appears to have a different view of the Starbucks incident and is saddened that his city is in the news for such an outrageous form of racial discrimination. “I am heartbroken to see Philadelphia in the headlines for an incident that — at least based on what we know at this point — appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018,” Kenney said in a statement.
Kenney stated that he also asked the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to examine the company’s policies and procedures “including the extent of, or need for, implicit bias training for its employees.”
Check out today’s Top Stories here: