A former Starbucks manager is speaking out about an incident that occurred Thursday in which police arrested two black men for sitting in the shop, waiting for a colleague, without making a purchase.
Holly — the former Starbucks manager who called police on the two men — spoke with Apple News, where she revealed that there’s more to the story than what’s being reported by the media.
What’s the history?
The incident involved two black men who were arrested on Thursday after “defiant trespassing.”
While several witness accounts reported that the two men didn’t do anything wrong, other accounts say that the men refused to leave when law enforcement requested they do so.
Video of the incident, which went viral, showed police handcuffing the two men and leading them out of the store.
Despite the arrest, a local district attorney did not approve the charges and the men were released Friday.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross defended the officers’ actions and was adamant that the police “did nothing wrong.”
Buzzfeed News reported that a Starbucks manager called the cops after seeing the two men loitering in the store without making any purchases.
The video eventually went viral, and garnered much criticism on the internet from people who disagreed with what they believed to be an unjust arrest, as well as a racially motivated incident.
By Saturday, internet hashtag #BoycottStarbucks had exploded and protests began.
What’s the manager saying now?
Holly, who refused to provide her last name out of fear, told Apple News that she had managed the location for a year up until the incident in which she called the police on the two men.
She told the outlet that throughout her one-year tenure, loitering was apparently a common occurrence, and noted that she personally had encountered “many individuals” who loitered in the franchise without any intent to purchase merchandise or food and beverages.
She also revealed that at least one person “chased her around the store after she asked them to leave,” according to the outlet.
The outlet also reported that Holly noted that a “corporate policy germane exclusively to Center City Philadelphia locations prohibits excessive loitering.”
According to Holly, if the policy is violated, management reserves the right to contact law enforcement.