On Thursday, April 12th a video of two Black men being arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks went viral. Today, they publicly addressed the situation on Good Morning America.
Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson walked into the Philly Starbucks for a real estate project meeting with Alan Yaffe, a real estate developer.
They arrived at the establishment at 4:35pm for a 4:45pm meeting, but the authorities were called by 4:37pm. Two minutes.
In the footage of the arrest, you can see Yaffe, confused of what’s happening, attempting to deescalate the situation; however, both men were arrested for allegedly “trespassing.”
Robinson and Nelson weren’t released until 12:30am on Friday, April 13th. They were released because there wasn’t evidence that a crime had been committed.
Since the video went viral, the store manager of that Starbucks is no longer employed with the company. Robinson and Nelson have also met with Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson who’s decided that the chain will close 8,000 US stores on May 29th for racial-bias training.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Robinson and Nelson, who’ve been best friends since fourth grade, shared they feared for their life.
Talking today to GMA’s Robin Roberts, Robinson shared that he doesn’t want young men to be traumatized by this. He instead wants them to instead be motivated and inspired.
Watch the entire segment below:
FULL INTERVIEW: "This is something that has been going on for years…everyone is blind to it."
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 19, 2018
Photograph: Jacqueline Larma/AP