Starbucks to close all company-owned US stores on May 29 to conduct racial-bias education

Move follows arrest of 2 black men at a Philadelphia store

KCBS, Brandon Ward via CNN

Starbucks is planning to close all company-owned stores in U.S. on the afternoon of May 29 to conduct racial-bias education following a controversial incident at a Philadelphia location last week.

On Thursday, two men entered the Starbucks and asked to use the bathroom. An employee told them it was only for paying customers. When they then sat in the store without ordering anything, the manager called the police, and the men were arrested for trespassing. No charges were filed.

The company has also confirmed that the manager who called the police is no longer working at that store. Starbucks would not comment on other reports that she has left the company by mutual agreement.

Also Monday, a Facebook video taken in January surfaced of a similar incident in a Torrance, California, Starbucks. In the video, a black man was asked to leave the store when he objected that a white customer had been given the code to use the bathroom before he ordered food — but he had not been given the same code. Starbucks said it is aware of the video.

"Please know that we take this video and the commentary around it very seriously, and are working closely with the team to understand more," said a spokesperson. "As you know, we are fully investigating our store practices and guidelines across the company."

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