In April 2018, at a Philadelphia Starbucks, police arrested two men of color waiting for a third participant before beginning a business meeting. A Starbucks employee contacted police after concluding that the men had not purchased anything. Another patron captured the arrest on video and posted it on Twitter where it soon received more than 200,000 likes. Although it is unknown whether the men initiated any subsequent court action, they eventually settled with Starbucks (for an undetermined amount) and the city of Philadelphia (for $1 each and the promise of a $200,000 investment in a program for entrepreneurs).
To placate protesters and tamp down the backlash, Starbucks closed more than 8,000 locations one May afternoon for diversity training. Currently, the company is facing a race discrimination lawsuit filed by a Caucasian regional manager who claims she was terminated after refusing to discipline another Caucasian employee accused of discrimination in the aftermath of the event.
Several months later, in December,