A former Starbucks manager, who is under fire for calling the police on two black men for trespassing, says loitering in the Philadelphia coffeehouse has been an ongoing problem for years.
The former manager, named only as Holly, has since "mutually parted ways" with the company after protests and sit-ins disrupted the usually quiet environment in the store.
Holly blamed company policy as her reason for calling 911 when two black men refused her requests to leave the 18h and Spruce Street location after they declined to buy anything.
She told Applenews.com that management has the discretion to enforce the no loitering policy up to and including calling the police. She said she doesn't tell the customers when she's calling the police.
Two officers arrived at the City Center location on Thursday and, after asking the men for their IDs, arrested them for trespassing.
Another patron uploaded cell phone video of the arrests to social media, saying the two men were racially profiled.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson arrived in Philadelphia on Monday and said he hoped to meet with the two men and apologize to them personally.
"I'd like to have a dialogue with them and the opportunity to listen to them with compassion and empathy through the experience they went through," he said.
Johnson said it was "completely inappropriate" for Holly to call the police.