Duo arrested in Starbucks settle for $1 each

Arturo Kim
May 3, 2018

The two African American men who was arrested at a Philadelphia branch of Starbucks last month have reached a settlement with the coffee shop and the city for US$1 (AU$1.33) each.

Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson portrayed the twin settlements as an effort to make sure something positive came out of the April 12 incident, which touched off a furor around the USA over racial profiling. Both men spent hours in jail until the district attorney's office declined to press charges because there was no evidence of a crime.

Starbucks' chief executive Kevin Johnson, who came to Philadelphia to visit the men announced that more than 8,000 Starbucks stores across the country would close on May 29 so employees can receive "training in unconscious bias".

Starbucks is closing its 8,000-plus company-owned US stores and the corporate offices for the afternoon of May 29, so employees can undergo racial-bias training.

In a video message, Johnson said, "I will fix this". "I welcome the opportunity to begin a relationship with them to share learnings and experiences".

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In a statement, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was happy to resolve what happened "in this productive manner".

After Nelson returned to the table where Robinson was sitting, the manager approached them to ask whether she could help get them get any drinks or water.

Starbucks, as part of the agreement, is also giving the men the opportunity to complete their undergraduate degrees for free through a partnership with Arizona State University. The men had been waiting for a friend to arrive for a business meeting. Johnson dropped everything and came to Philly to personally apologize to the men.

"We feel as though it starts with us, our communities. quote/unquote underserved communities, and teaching them not just about entrepreneurship and proper etiquette, but proper [financial] literacy. about taxes and how to use money as a tool", Nelson said.

The agreement between the parties stems from the arrest of Robinson and Nelson at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia on April 12 and includes a confidential financial settlement as well as a commitment to continued listening and dialogue between the parties as a means toward developing specific actions and opportunities.

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