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A social media campaign has been launched, encouraging people to boycott Starbucks after two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia branch of the coffee chain while waiting for their friend to arrive.
Starbucks has since apologised for the incident which saw the police called on two black men who were sitting waiting for somebody to join their table.
The hashtag #BoycottStarbucks was trending on Twitter on Saturday, after a video of the incident showing six officers arresting two black men in the downtown coffee shop went viral.
However, Philadelphia's Police Commissioner Richard Ross maintains that his officers 'did absolutely nothing wrong' and that the men had been asked to leave three times before they were arrested.
Commissioner Ross released a statement regarding the incident.
"At about 4:40 police received a 911 call for a disturbance and trespass. When the police arrived they were met by Starbucks employees who said that two males were trespassing and had refused to leave the establishment," he said.
"According to employees they had seen the two males come in, they sat down, and after being seated they decided they needed to use the restroom.
"Starbucks said that according to the company policy they do not allow non-paying people to come in and use the restroom. And so they then asked these two males to leave. These two males refused to leave and the police were called."
During the viral clip, a man named Andrew Yaffe arrives to tell police that the two men were waiting for him.
The officer says that they were not complying and were being arrested for trespassing.
"Why would they be asked to leave?" Mr Yaffe says. "Does anybody else think this is ridiculous?" he asks people nearby. "It's absolute discrimination," Mr Yaffe adds.
The video of the incident spread quickly on social media, having amassed 4.5 million views be Saturday night.
Starbucks released a statement in response to the incident. It read: "We apologize to the two individuals and our customers and are disappointed this led to an arrest.
"We take these matters seriously and clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our stores.
"We are reviewing out policies and will continue to engage with the community and the police department to try to ensure these types of situations never happen in any of our stores."
The coffee firm's CEO Kevin Johnson has also spoken out after watching the clip.
Johnson said in a statement: "The video shot by customers is very hard to watch and the actions in it are not representative of our Starbucks mission and values.
"The basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong."
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