The CEO of Starbucks issued an apology after two men were arrested in a Philadelphia location on Saturday.
The moment, which was captured on video, was allegedly prompted by two African-American men asking to use the bathroom when they hadn’t bought anything.
They were reportedly waiting on a friend. They refused to leave when asked.
In the video as they were arrested, with at least six officers present, other patrons can be heard asking what the men are being arrested for and insisting they did not do anything.
“We regret that our practices and training led to the reprehensible outcome at our Philadelphia store. We’re taking immediate action to learn from this and be better,” CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.
The video went viral, with nearly 8 million views, on Twitter over the weekend and immediately sparked national outrage.
The Philadelphia Police Department and mayor’s office are now investigating the incident, reports said.
If someone has not purchased anything, it is against Starbucks policy to be allowed to use the bathroom.
“Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome – the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong,” Johnson said. “Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did.”
The men were detained and released hours later, reports said.
People have begun protesting against the company.