Well we’ve certainly had a lot of fun talking about Starbucks.
After listening to the call placed to the police,
After watching the interview of the two men arrested,
After reading the (short) interview with the manager,
After learning that loitering became an issue at this location and policy was enacted one year earlier to prevent it,
I have come to a personal conclusion.
1. The manager acted too hastily based on her previous experiences involving incidents of loitering.
(She could have waited 20 or 30 minutes to see if there was a meeting before calling police off of the roads.)
2. The 911 call exhibits her attitude,
referring to the men as gentlemen in a calm tone. Almost like, “loiterers again, sigh”. No racial slurs, no rude words, and no panic. This leads me to conclude it was policy related request for them to leave, not a racial – “get these black folks outta here” – request.
3. The gentlemen in question (again, my opinion) had every right to wait for their business associate (maybe outside?) to prove their intention of patronage to the proprietress, but once policemen arrived, they should have peaceably exited and waited outside for their friend.
Don’t stand and argue with the police.
The 911 call tape also has footage of policemen calling for backup when the two men refused to comply.
Coming from a policeman’s perspective – they never know what is about to go down when they walk into a situation – and citizens who are cognizant of that fact usually comply to demonstrate that they’re harmless and not the opposite.
The entire thing was handled badly by everyone but the policemen.
This is not a Rosa Parks moment, and Starbucks’ corporate management is less than wise for pandering to citizens in their knee-jerk reaction to the recent racially motivated protests.
It’s a policy compliance issue,
A civil responsibility issue,
And lessons are here for the learning,
For the understanding heart with an ear to hear.