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Starbucks cafes shut for racial training

by
April 18, 2018

Protesters stage a sit-in at a Philadelphia Starbucks where two black men were arrested.

Starbucks says it will close its more than 8000 US stores for several hours next month to conduct racial-bias training to its nearly 175,000 workers.

The announcement comes after two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks store, sparking protests and calls for a boycott on social media.

Starbucks Corp says the stores will be closed on the afternoon on May 29. Its corporate offices will also be closed at that time.

CEO Kevin Johnson met with the two black men who were arrested in a Philadelphia store last week.

A Starbucks spokeswoman confirmed the meeting happened Monday but declined to give any details. A lawyer for the men did not immediately return messages for comment.

Johnson, who called the arrests "reprehensible," had said that he wanted to apologise to the men face-to-face.

Video shows several police talking quietly with two black men seated at a table. After a few minutes, officers handcuff the men and lead them outside as other customers say they weren't doing anything wrong; Philadelphia-area media reported the two had been waiting for a friend.

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