by G. Brown
Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson. You may not know their names, but all of America knows what happened to them when they visited that Philadelphia Starbucks over the weekend.
Nelson and Robinson are now telling their side of what happened. They claim they were in the Starbucks just two minutes before the manager called police.
Huffington Post says when the two men entered the Starbucks, one of them immediately asked the store manager if he could use the bathroom, but was told restrooms were for paying customers only. Nelson says he didn’t argue with the manager, joined Robinson at their table as they waited for another friend to join them. They say when the store manager asked if they were ready to order they declined. Shortly after the police arrived and “approached us, they just said we had to leave,” Nelson said. “There was no question of, you know, ’Was there a problem here between you and the manager? [or] ‘What happened?”
The men said, “We wasn’t read any rights ― nothing,” Robinson said. “Just double-lock handcuffs behind our backs and escorted out and put into a squad car.”
Nelson and Robinson were thrown in a jail on trespassing charges and left for hours until their midnight release. The two men say they were there to meet with a real estate developer to talk about investment opportunities and ended up fearing for their lives. Time.com says “Robinson said he thought about his loved ones and how the afternoon had taken such a turn as he was taken to jail. Nelson wondered if he’d make it home alive. Anytime I’m encountered by cops, I can honestly say it’s a thought that runs through my mind,” Nelson said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”
The Starbucks encounter has been bad for business at a time when the racial divide in this country has been widened by police shootings of Blacks and a surge in vocal White supramacists.
Many White customers came to the defense of the two men saying other White customers were doing the same thing…sitting and waiting without ordering but were not arrested. And some Blacks have condemned the men on social media saying they were trying to cause problems and denounced them as entitled Blacks who dare White people to challenge them.
What are your thoughts on the story….do you think the men should have ordered and still waited on their friend? Should they have taken their business to another coffeehouse? Or were they arrested simply for sitting while Black?