Philadelphia Police Release Audio of Black Starbucks Loiterers' Arrest

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | April 19, 2018 | 2:38 PM EDT


Philadelphia police have posted video of recordings of the call a Starbucks employee made to police, which set off a national firestorm of accusations of racial discrimination.

The YouTube video documents how, on April 12, when two black men entered the store, asked to use the restroom, then refused to either make a purchase or leave, the employee called police to report:

"Hi, I have two gentlemen in my cafe that are refusing to make a purchase or leave."

Without mentioning the race of the two men, the woman gave the store’s address, said, “Thank you,” and hung up.

According to the time stamps on the video the two men refused to leave for about a half hour. The 911 call was made at 4:37 PM ET and officers reported they were en route to the two arrestees at 5:00PM ET.

Not one of the recorded conversations mentions the race of the two loiterers.

According to the four minute video below, the events unfolded as follows:

  • 4:37 PM: Employee’s 911 call to police
  • 4:40 PM: Officers dispatched
  • 4:41 PM: Officers arrive at Starbucks
  • 4:44 PM: Officers request backup and supervisor
  • 4:45 PM: Officers, backup dispatched
  • 4:57 PM: Officers request report numbers for two arrests
  • 5:00 PM: Officers en route to headquarters with two arrests


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