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Two men arrested in Philly reach agreement with Starbucks and the city

Starbucks Coffee Company and the city of Philadelphia have both reached settlements with the two men involved in a racially charged incident on April 12 at a Starbucks location in the city.

The arrest of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, both African American, sparked a national uproar around the issue of racial profiling. The two men were put in handcuffs and accused of trespassing after the store manager called police, saying they refused to order anything or leave. The men were waiting for a third person to have a business meeting.

On Wednesday, the men settled with the city for a symbolic $1 each, and a promise from officials to set up a $200,000 pilot program for young entrepreneurs.

Also on Wednesday, Starbucks announced that, after “constructive conversations,” it reached an agreement with Robinson and Nelson earlier this week. The coffee giant did not release the terms of the agreement, but said it will include a financial settlement and “continued listening and dialogue between the parties and specific action and opportunity.” It said more details “will be provided in a mutually agreed public statement.”

“I want to thank Donte and Rashon for their willingness to reconcile,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson. “I welcome the opportunity to begin a relationship with them to share learnings and experiences. And Starbucks will continue to take actions that stem from this incident to repair and reaffirm our values and vision for the kind of company we want to be.”

Johnson traveled to Philadelphia to apologize to the men. He later announced that more than 8,000 Starbucks stores in the U.S. would close on the afternoon of May 29 for a training program designed to address racial bias.
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