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Starbucks Apologizes Following Outrage Over Controversial Arrest Inside Store

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Two days after two men were arrested while waiting for their friend at a local Starbucks, the company has issued an apology.

'Internal Investigation' Underway Following Arrest At Philly Starbucks

On Thursday, police were called to a Starbucks located on 18th and Spruce.

Allegedly, the men were waiting to meet their friend according to witnesses when they were asked to leave.

Police were then called to the scene.

The video below, captured by author Melissa DePino, shows the tail end of what occurred during the incident that has led to public outrage.

The attorney for the two men is Lauren Wimmer, Esq. She did not want to identify them but said they were at the Starbucks waiting for less than 15 minutes, for a third person to arrive for a business meeting over a real estate project. But by the time that person arrived, so did the police.
"The video, in this case, essentially speaks for itself," she said. "These guys were doing what people do every day, they were having a meeting and they were undoubtedly singled out because of their race."
People inside the Starbucks at the time also thought the men were being singled out because of their race, so some stepped in to try to help.
"Six or seven of us went outside and were asking the police officers why are they doing this. They eventually took the two away," said Kant Khatri, who witnessed the arrest.

The company tweeted the apology on Saturday morning and confirms that they are reviewing their policy.

They also addressed the matter on their website.

Still, customers have taken to social media to share their outrage with hashtags such as #BoycottStarbucks.

Subsequently, the Philadelphia Police Department says an internal investigation is underway following the arrest of two people at a Starbucks this week.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross took to Facebook Live Saturday to say a Starbucks employee asked the men to buy something before telling them to leave. When they didn't,  police were called.
"These officers did absolutely nothing wrong. They did a service they were called to do," he said.
Still, many people think the Starbucks employee overstepped by calling the cops.
"You can't even stand in a Starbucks without somebody arresting you, it's crazy to me," said Alannah Caldwell.
"That just doesn't even sound like something that's worthy of calling the cops, much less, an arrest," said Emma Pillow.

After initially taking to twitter about the incident, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny released a statement Saturday afternoon.

"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," said Mayor Kenny.

In his statement, Mayor Kenny addressed that Starbucks released an apology but believes that is not enough.

He asked Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to review the firm's policies and procedures, including if they're employees have, or need, any type of bias training.

The original video that was shared on Twitter on Thursday evening has been liked nearly 1 million times and has since gone viral.

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