Two black men arrested for loitering at Starbucks reach settlement with coffee chain and city

Two black men arrested for loitering at Starbucks reach settlement with coffee chain and city
Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson settled with the city of Philadelphia and Starbucks on an undisclosed payout after being unfairly arrested last month. (Image source: Video screenshot)

The two black men arrested for loitering at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month have reached settlements with the coffee chain and the city, The Associated Press reported.

On Wednesday, Starbucks announced that it struck a deal with Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson for an undisclosed payout, “as well as continued listening and dialogue between the parties and specific action and opportunity,” the company said in a news release.

The men were also offered full tuition to complete their bachelor’s degrees through the company’s partnership with Arizona State University’s online program, according to the AP.

Also, in separate deals, the city agreed to pay each of the men a symbolic $1 each, along with the promise to set up a $200,000 young entrepreneurship program.

What happened?

Police arrested Nelson and Robinson on April 12 at a Philadelphia Starbucks after the manager called police on them for sitting in the shop without ordering anything from the menu. The men were reportedly waiting for a colleague to join them before they placed an order.

The men were released from jail early the next morning and charges were never filed.

A video that showed police escorting the men out of the store in the high-end Ritten House neighborhood sparked outrage across the country against the coffee chain.

The incident prompted an apology from Starbucks’ CEO, and it scheduled racial-bias training for its 175,000 employees at 8,000 stores. The company will close all stores during the training on the afternoon of May 29.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson traveled to Philadelphia and offered a personal apology to the men.

What else did Starbucks say?

“I want to thank Donte and Rashon for their willingness to reconcile,” Johnson said in the release. “I welcome the opportunity to begin a relationship with them to share learnings and experiences. And Starbucks will continue to take actions that stem from this incident to repair and reaffirm our values and vision for the kind of company we want to be.”

The company said it would disclose more details about the settlement later in a “mutually agreed” statement with the men.

What did the Philadelphia mayor say?

Nelson and Robinson chose not to sue the city of Philadelphia but instead asked its leaders to partner with them “to make something positive come of this,” according to The Washington Post.

“This was an incident that evoked a lot of pain in our city, pain that would’ve resurfaced over and over again in protracted litigation, which presents significant legal risks and high financial and emotional costs for everyone involved,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.