Black Men Arrested In Philly Starbucks Were Waiting For Jewish Businessman by the Forward

Black Men Arrested In Philly Starbucks Were Waiting For Jewish Businessman

(JTA) — The two black men arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia were waiting for a local Jewish businessman, Andrew Yaffe.

A video of the arrest of the two men on Thursday went viral on social media, and led to national and international outrage. It was viewed more than 8 million times by Saturday.

In a statement, Starbuck’s CEO Kevin Johnson offered “our deepest apologies” for the “reprehensible” incident.

“The video shot by customers is very hard to watch and the actions in it are not representative of our Starbucks Mission and Values.  Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store.  Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome—the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong.  Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did,” Johnson said.

He also said that Starbucks “stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling.”

The men were asked to leave after asking to use the bathroom before ordering anything. Police were called when the men did not leave.

The men were taken to a police station, where they were fingerprinted and photographed, their attorney Lauren Wimmer told The Washington Post on Saturday. They were released several hours later due to lack of evidence.

Yaffe, who runs a real estate development firm, was meeting the men to discuss business investment opportunities. In the video, he arrives at the Starbucks and tells police that they were waiting for him.

“Why would they be asked to leave?” Yaffe says on the video. “Does anybody else think this is ridiculous? It’s absolute discrimination.”

Yaffe is the founder and president of AY Industries, a Philadelphia-based real estate development, investment and management firm, and is active in the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, according to the Jewish Exponent.

Author

Black Men Arrested In Starbucks Were Waiting For Jew

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Black Men Arrested In Philly Starbucks Were Waiting For Jewish Businessman

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close