A widely circulated social media video this late last week showed police officers arresting two black men as they sat in a Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia, United States.
Other patrons objected that the men were doing nothing wrong and appeared to be targeted merely for their race.
Cellphone footage that onlookers filmed of Thursday’s April 12 incident shows the two men sitting quietly at a table and talking for several minutes to police officers who had apparently been called to the store.
They are then put in handcuffs and marched out. Other customers, including a middle-aged white man, tried to intervene.
The white man tells police the pair have done nothing wrong, that they are allowed to be there, and that the officers are only trying to remove them because they are black, which an officer denies.
Philadelphia’s police commissioner on Saturday April 14 defended the arrest, saying his officers had to act after Starbucks employees told them the pair were trespassing.