Arrests at the Rittenhouse Square Starbucks

Listen 49:48
Protesters gather outside a Starbucks in Philadelphia, Sunday, April 15, 2018, where two black men were arrested Thursday after Starbucks employees called police to say the men were trespassing. The arrest prompted accusations of racism on social media. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson posted a lengthy statement Saturday night, calling the situation

Protesters gather outside a Starbucks in Philadelphia, Sunday, April 15, 2018, where two black men were arrested Thursday after Starbucks employees called police to say the men were trespassing. The arrest prompted accusations of racism on social media. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson posted a lengthy statement Saturday night, calling the situation "disheartening" and that it led to a "reprehensible" outcome. (AP Photo/Ron Todt)

Guests: David Harris, Marc Lamont Hill, Gene Demby

The arrest of two black men at the Rittenhouse Square Starbucks in Philadelphia has caused an uproar among community members and social justice advocates and many of the public. A manager called the police after asking the men to leave because they had not purchased anything. The men said that they were waiting for a friend to arrive for a meeting, refused to leave, and were arrested, handcuffed and taken to the police department. This was all captured on video with bystanders saying the men did nothing wrong.  They were released hours later without charges. Today on the show we’ll talk about the incident, its implications, and its repercussions with Temple University professor and political commentator MARC LAMONT HILL, who owns the Germantown coffee shop Uncle Bobbie’s, and with GENE DEMBY, of NPR’s “Code Switch.” But first, we’ll get University of Pittsburgh law professor DAVID HARRIS’ thoughts on the legality and appropriateness of the police response at Starbucks.

 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

50% of WHYY’s funding comes from donations made by people just like you.