On Thursday, Richard Ross, the police commissioner of Philadelphia, officially apologized for last week’s arrest of two African-American men at a Starbucks in the city’s Rittenhouse Square Park neighbourhood. Ross describes how he was unaware that it is common to spend hours in the establishment without feeling obligated to make a purchase. “That is on me,” he admitted.

Commissioner Ross’s apology comes a few days after he defended the actions of the police officers. He declared that the policemen “did nothing wrong” and were respectful and professional in their demeanour. “They got the opposite back,” said Ross.

NBC reports that the two arrested men feared for their lives during the ordeal. “Anytime I’m encountered by cops, I can honestly say it’s a thought that runs through my mind,” One of the men stated. “You never know what’s going to happen.” Outrage over the incident grew over the weekend, which led to a protest at the Starbucks in Rittenhouse Square and calls to boycott the entire chain.

According to CBS News, the men do not think that responding to the arrest with anger and boycotts are the best solutions. “We need a different type of action … not words,” One of them declared. “It’s a time to pay attention and understand what’s really going on. We do want a seat at the table.”