A protester demonstrated on Sunday outside a Starbucks in Philadelphia

A protester demonstrated on Sunday outside a Starbucks in Philadelphia, where the police arrested two black men who were sitting inside. Credit
Mark Makela/Getty Images

Protests kicked off in Philadelphia to combat the unjustified arrest of two black men who were waiting in a Starbucks in Philadelphia. The incident has sparked outrage amongst many and even celebrity figures such as Russell Simmons have called for the boycott of the coffee giant.

On Monday, Kevin R. Johnson, the chief executive of the company, said it was “reprehensible” that two black men were ejected from the store last week and said he wanted to meet with them personally and apologize.

The CEO, who spoke on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” also said that the company was reviewing guidelines, which can differ among the chain’s 28,000 stores worldwide, and was investing in training, including in unconscious bias.

What happened to the men was “wrong, and for that I personally apologize to the two men that visited our store,” he said. “It’s my responsibility to understand what happened and what led to that, and ensure that we fix it.”

The company instructs employees to call the police in certain situations, such as those involving “threats or disturbance.”

“In this case, none of that occurred,” Mr. Johnson said. “It was completely inappropriate to engage the police.”