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False arrest at Starbucks draws protests

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Two black men were at a Philadelphia Starbucks waiting to have a business meeting when police entered the premises and demanded that the men leave. A Starbucks employee had called the authorities, asking police to remove the men, who the Starbucks employee claimed had not purchased any coffee and refused to exit the premises when asked.

Police arrived and an ugly, racially-motivated arrest ensued, all while others in the cafe watched and videotaped the incident. Police questioned the men, asking them why they were there, and they answered that they were waiting for someone to arrive for a business meeting.

The incident, which went viral on the internet, has sparked nationwide protests against Starbucks. Even the CEO of Starbucks has issued a formal apology to the men and closed down Starbucks stores for training intended to prevent such incidents from happening again in the future.

The fact is that most Starbucks customers have sat down in a store and waited before ordering because their friend or business associate had yet to arrive. In this case, as police were putting the handcuffs on the men, their business associate arrived for the meeting, verifying the men's initial claim.

When a property crimes arrest takes place for racially-motivated reasons inside a public store, the arrested and accused individuals will have a strong defense against the unlawful and false arrest. If you've been arrested unfairly like the men in this case, make sure you fully understand your legal rights and options to make your voice heard in court. No one should ever have to put up with this kind of unfair and unlawful treatment.

Source: The Guardian, "Arrest of two black men at Starbucks for 'trespassing' sparks protests," Damien Gayle, April 16, 2018

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