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PHILADELPHIA - The arrest of two men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia this week has sparked outrage on social media and led to a police investigation after a video of the incident went viral.
A video clip posted on YouTube Thursday show police talking to two black men for several minutes, then handcuffing them and escorting them off the premises.
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
Melissa DePino, who took the video, said, "The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing."
A witness can be heard on the video calling the arrest "ridiculous."
The video has been viewed more than 3 million times.
Starbucks released a statement Saturday, apologizing for the incident.
We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/suUsytXHks— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) April 14, 2018
Starbucks' CEO Kevin Johnson told The Associated Press that he wanted to apologize personally to the two men.
Johnson called the situation "disheartening" and that it led to a "reprehensible" outcome, the AP reported.
Police are conducting an internal investigation. On Saturday, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross told The Associated Press his officers did nothing wrong. Ross claims Starbucks employees called police to say two men were trespassing, after the men’s request to use the bathroom was denied because they had not made a purchase. Ross said that the men were asked three times to leave and refused, at which point they were arrested.
UPDATE: Philadelphia's police commissioner said his officers "did absolutely nothing wrong" in arresting two black men at a downtown Starbucks. https://t.co/RS9G8jwDiQ— AP Eastern US (@APEastRegion) April 14, 2018
The Associated Press contributed to this report.