UPDATED 2:50 p.m. ET: After a public outcry, Starbucks has issued a statement apologizing for the incident.
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A viral clip of two Philadelphia men arrested under curious circumstances has both Starbucks and the Philadelphia Police Department lauching separate internal investigations.
Friday, a video surfaced of two black men in a Philadelphia-area Starbucks being handcuffed and escorted by armed police officers. Per CBS Philadelphia, the incident happened on Thursday.
“What did they get called for?” One onlooker asks officers and other customers.
“They didn’t do anything,” a bystander responds off-camera. “I saw the entire thing. They asked to use the bathroom, and the woman says, ‘It’s for paying customers only.’”
Author Melissa DePino uploaded one of the initial videos of the incident via Twitter, and she gave her account of what happened.
“The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything,” DePino offered, via Twitter. “They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing.”
Users upset with what appears to be a case of racial profiling directed their outrage at the Starbucks and the Philadelphia Police, who both have official Twitter profiles. As the #BoycottStarbucks hashtag briefly began trending Saturday, the coffeehouse chain released the following official statement.
“We’re aware of the incident on Thursday in a Philadelphia store with 2 guests and law enforcement, resulting in their removal. We’re reviewing the incident with our partners, law enforcement and customers to determine what took place and led to this unfortunate result.”
In similar fashion, the Philadelphia Police department released an official statement via Twitter confirming an internal investigation was underway and declined to further comment.