Men Arrested At Philadelphia Starbucks
Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, the two black men who were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, are speaking out publicly for the first time. As previously reported, last week, the pair both 23, were at the Starbucks when they asked to use to the bathroom and were told it was only for paying customers. When they then sat in the store without ordering anything, the manager called police, and the men were arrested.
On Thursday (April 19th), Nelson and Robinson, who were accompanied by their attorney, detailed their arrest publicly for the first time. Rashon stated that shortly after he arrived at Starbucks, he asked to use the restroom.The manager who has been identified as Holly Hylton, stated,
They were for paying customers only and I left it at that at that moment.
He then went to find Donte who was sitting at a table. The two men were talking amongst each other while waiting for a business meeting to start. The manager walked from behind the register and asked the gentlemen could she help them with anything or would they like to purchase something drink. Donte informed the manager that,
They were fine and just waiting for a meeting and will be out really quick.
Shortly after, a phone called was placed to 911. As soon as the police arrived, they approached them and told them to leave. Robinson explained,
[He was thinking] They can’t be here for us.
Well initially as soon as they approached us they just said we had to leave. There was no question of ‘was there a problem here between you guys and the manager?’ you know ‘what happened?‘
Donte said they didn’t know what they were being arrested for,
We wasn’t read any rights, nothing. Just double locked handcuffs behind our back and escorted out and put into a squad car.
On the video, they were seen talking to the officers he explained they were trying to understand what was happening,
I was just trying to process the situation to myself at the time. Because I was thinking about my family that I have. My community. So in that moment, I’m trying to process what’s going on because 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 they offered to call the person they were meeting with.
It’s a real estate meeting. We’ve been working on this for months. We’re days away from changing our whole entire situation, our lives, and you about to sit here telling me I can’t do that? You’re not doing that.
They were arrested for trespassing and held for eight hours, however no charges were filed. After the video taken by a witness went viral, calls to boycott the company and outrage began. Robinson wants to make sure that an incident like this never happens again. He stated,
I want to make sure that this situation doesn’t happen again, What I want is for a young man, young men, to not be traumatized by this and instead motivated, inspired.
Take this opportunity as a stepping stone to really stand up and show your greatness and that you are not judged by the color of your skin as our ancestors were or anyone else. This has been something that has been going on for years. Everyone is blind to it but they know what is going on, if you get what I mean. You know, just really taking those actions and putting them in place and helping people understand that this is a people thing and that’s exactly what we want to see out of this. True change.