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Starbucks Changes Bathroom Policy Following Racial Firestorm

WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Starbucks is opening its bathrooms to everyone regardless of whether they've made a purchase following the arrest last month of two African American men at one of its coffee shops in Philadelphia.

Chairman Howard Schultz says he doesn't want the company to become a public bathroom, but feels employees can make the "right decision a hundred percent of the time," if that choice is removed at the store level.

One of the men arrested on April 12 was denied use of a bathroom before sitting down to await a business meeting. He and his business partner were arrested minutes later.

The viral video, recorded on a customer's cellphone, galvanized people around the country who saw the exchange as modern-day racism. In the weeks since, the men met with the CEO of Starbucks, reached a settlement with the city -- for $1 each -- and secured a $200,000 commitment for a pilot program for young entrepreneurs.

Schultz, speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington, said Starbucks had a "loose policy" on bathroom use, The Washington, The Seattle Times, and other media outlets reported.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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