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Starbucks & Philadelphia's Bitter Brew of (Police-Sanctioned) Pernicious Prejudice

Cops and coffee shop in hot water

That April 12th arrest triggered days of protests at that Starbucks located in a residential area of downtown Philadelphia and led to prompted profuse apologies from top Starbucks officials, including CEO Johnson who rushed to Philadelphia to tamp down the furor.

That arrest also intensified criticisms against the controversial racial profiling-based stop-&-frisk tactics employed by Philadelphia police.

A repugnant record of stalking blacks exists among PPD personnel in the police district that includes the 1801 Spruce Starbucks location.

That 9th Police District has the highest levels of race-tainted pedestrian stops in the entire city of Philadelphia. The PPD’s own data documents that African-Americans represented 67 percent of the police stops in the 9th District in 2017 despite blacks being just three percent of that District’s population.

Hylton admitted to Philadelphia journalist Chris Norris that she routinely called police on customers without providing customers with prior warning of their alleged infraction.

That former Starbucks employee who found Hylton’s behavior “racist” is Ieshaa Cash.

Cash, during news media interviews, said Hylton also discriminated against her personally, including demoting her from a supervisory position and lowering her pay. (Hylton no longer works for Starbucks according to news reports and vague statements from Starbucks corporate.)

Cash said she complained to Starbucks district management about Hylton’s discriminatory actions but management ignored her complaints.

The Starbucks corporate media office refused to respond to repeated requests for comment.

Telephone calls to the Starbucks media office in Seattle receive an automated response directing inquiries to contact Starbucks via an email account. Inquiries sent to that email account receive an automated response directing back to the same telephone number that directed inquires to that email account.

Starbucks would not comment on the charges Cash leveled at Hylton and district management. Starbucks would not comment on what action district and/or corporate management took regarding the high volume of 911 calls from that Spruce Street location.. Starbucks would not comment on safety issues for its employees seeming presented by the high volume of alleged disturbances at that location.

Starbucks did reply to an inquiry made by Patrick Duff, the researcher who obtained the PPD 9ll call logs through a freedom of information request. Starbucks responded but did not answer the two questions posed by Duff: (1) Is it normal for a location to call 911 42 times in one year? (2) When did Holly Hylton start?”

A Starbucks Customer Care representative sent an email to Duff that stated:
 

“Patrick, we strive to create a culture in our stores where everyone is welcome, and where everyone belongs. We believe in treating each other with dignity and respect, and will thoroughly investigate this incident,” Customer Care representative Paul G. wrote in that email to Duff. “While we understand your concern, as we have shared previously, we consider your claim having been investigated and now a closed matter.”
 

While the matter maybe “closed” for Starbucks, Philadelphia’s Commission on Human Relations is investigating circumstances surrounding the controversial 4/12/18 arrest. Philadelphia's mayor ordered the Commission to investigate.



story | by Dr. Radut