Men say they were arrested within minutes after arriving at Philadelphia Starbucks

The two black men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week say they were handcuffed within minutes of entering ...

Posted: Apr 19, 2018 1:37 PM
Updated: Apr 19, 2018 1:37 PM

The two black men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week say they were handcuffed within minutes of entering the store.

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday and described their arrest. They said they went to Starbucks for a business meeting that they believed would change their lives.

Nelson said he asked to use the restroom shortly after walking in and was told it was only for paying customers. The two men were waiting for a third person when a white store employee called 911 minutes later.

"I was thinking, they can't be here for us," Robinson said of the police. "It didn't really hit me what was going on, that it was real, till I was being double-locked with my hands behind my back."

Nelson and Robinson were arrested for trespassing. No charges were filed. Video of the incident went viral and ignited protests and calls for boycotts.

Nelson said they had been working on the meeting for months. "We're days away from changing our whole entire situation, our lives, and you about to sit here telling me I can't do that? You're not doing that."

"I understand that rules are rules, but what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong," Robinson said.

On Monday, the two men met with Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, who apologized.

"I want to make sure that this situation doesn't happen again," Robinson said. "What I want is for a young man, young men, to not be traumatized by this and instead motivated, inspired."

Related: Starbucks has a bold plan to address racial bias. Will it work?

A lawyer for the two men told "Good Morning America" that Starbucks has agreed to their proposal to enter mediation with a retired federal judge.

The store employee who called 911 is no longer with the company. Starbucks has not said under what circumstances she left.

Starbucks plans to close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for one afternoon in May to teach employees about racial bias. The training will be provided to about 175,000 workers.

It will be developed with guidance from experts including former Attorney General Eric Holder and Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Related: Starbucks will close 8,000 US stores May 29 for racial-bias training

On Wednesday, Johnson and Starbucks founder Howard Schultz met with Philadelphia church and community leaders.

Rev. Gregory Holston, executive director of POWER, a group that helped organize the meeting, said he was "cautiously optimistic" about Starbucks' response.

In addition to the bias training, Starbucks leaders were pressed in the meeting on raising wages, on hiring workers who have been incarcerated and on their role in gentrifying neighborhoods.

"We are challenging them to take the lead in supporting racial justice organizations and speaking to other companies to join the cause," Holston said.

Starbucks declined to discuss the meeting, but said through a spokesperson that "we are grateful to have these opportunities to talk with and listen to civic and community leaders this week in Philadelphia."

- Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Nelson, not Robinson, asked to use the restroom.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 47°
Columbus
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Oxford
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
Starkville
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 45°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather