Urban League Leaders: Starbucks and Philadelphia Police Must Address Bias, Profiling

Marc H. Morial, National Urban League President and CEO and Andrea Custis, Urban League of Philadelphia President and CEO, today issued the following statement regarding Thursday’s incident at Starbuck’s:

“We are encouraged by the ongoing public dialogue surrounding the incident of apparent racial profiling by a Starbucks employee and the police officers who responded. We commend CEO Kevin Johnson for meeting with the men involved, and Mayor Jim Kenney for his quick and thoughtful response.

“We implore Mr. Johnson and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross not to squander this opportunity to foster greater understanding and cooperation among communities.  The patrons of Starbucks who recorded this incident, and who stridently protested as it was happening clearly understood immediately the racial implications that the store employees and responding officers appeared not to understand. This failure of policy and training needs to be addressed at once.

“We stand ready to assist Starbucks and the Philadelphia Police as they look for ways to identify and address implicit bias, racial profiling and incident de-escalation.”


CONTACT:  Teresa Candori, 212-558-5362, tcandori@nul.org