Men arrested at Starbucks say they feared for their lives

Starbucks training a first step, experts say, in facing bias

Two black men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks said they were just waiting for a business meeting – and a week later still wonder how that could escalate into a police encounter that left them fearing for their lives.

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson tell The Associated Press in their first interview since video of their April 12 arrests went viral. The arrests, recorded on a white customer’s cellphone video, galvanized people around the country who saw the exchange as modern-day racism.

The men have met with the CEO of Starbucks and are pushing for meaningful change so what happened to them does not happen to anyone else.

Police this week released a recording of the call from the Starbucks employee that led to the arrest. In it, a woman is heard saying the men refused to “make a purchase or leave.”

Starbucks has promised to train employees about unconscious bias.