The two black men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week say they want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday and described the ordeal.
“I want to make sure that this situation doesn’t happen again,” Robinson said. “What I want is for a young man, young men, to not be traumatized by this and instead motivated, inspired.”
They were arrested at Starbucks last Thursday for trespassing. The two men were waiting for a third person, for a business meeting, when a white store employee called the police. Video of the arrests ignited national uproar and protests.
Robinson said he asked to use the restroom shortly after walking in and was told it was only for paying customers. He said police arrived within minutes and told them to leave. He said they were put in handcuffs and into a squad car.
“It didn’t really hit me what was going on, that it was real, till I was being double-locked with my hands behind my back,” he said.
“I understand that rules are rules, but what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong,” he said.
On Monday, the two men met with Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, who apologized.
Starbucks plans to close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for one afternoon in May to teach employees about racial bias. The training will be provided about 175,000 workers.
It will be developed with guidance from experts including former Attorney General Eric Holder and Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.