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.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 19, 2018
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.
BREAKING: Philadelphia's police commissioner apologizes to 2 men arrested at Starbucks, says he `failed miserably' in messaging .
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 19, 2018
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.
The two men who were arrested at Starbucks last week spoke out about their ordeal for the first time. “This is something that has been going on for years and everyone’s blind to it." https://t.co/0cI5VaZRB2
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 19, 2018
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.”