Author Topic: Racism or rational response to trespassing  (Read 5668 times)

LetterRip

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Racism or rational response to trespassing
« on: April 15, 2018, 09:26:31 PM »
Two African-American men were arrested for trespassing after they were asked to either order something or to leave and refused to do either.  Then when the police show up, they also refused to leave and were arrested.

Starbucks has a district by district policy on loitering and trespassing.

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So in my district we have a new directive from our DM where the shifts are supposed to go around the lobby every few hours and kick out people who are loitering (basically, everyone who hangs out for a few hours studying or working in the lobby) or those who are relaxing in-store but who haven't bought anything. I can see why corporate doesn't want non-paying people using the store's resources, but I feel like this is a really bad look for Starbucks and the "welcoming" brand image that we are supposedly about.

https://www.reddit.com/r/starbucks/comments/6yhtu0/kicking_out_the_noncustomers

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Thursday. A store manager had asked the two men to leave after they attempted to use the bathroom but had not made any purchases, police said. The men said they were waiting for a friend, their attorney later said. The manager then called 911 for assistance, the company said.

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“They’re not free to leave. We’re done with that,” an officer replies. “We asked them to leave the first time.” The two men stand up to be cuffed. They do not appear to resist.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2018/04/15/two-black-men-were-arrested-waiting-at-a-starbucks-now-the-company-police-are-on-the-defensive/?utm_term=.70a5efc4ea0b

Also another discussion at reddit on the recent arrest - a few (white) people have mentioned that they have been asked to leave if they haven't ordered anything as well.

https://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/8cg50j/video_cops_arrest_two_black_men_sitting_in/

So it isn't clear to me that racism was a motivating factor, it seems the manager was simply enforcing a recently enacted corporate policy against loitering, and the gentlemen refused to comply, so the manager called the police - something typical in this sort of situation.  Then they refused to obey the police when asked to leave, and so were arrested for trespassing.

So what do you think?  Was racism a likely factor?  What should a manager do if individuals loitering refuse to order or leave?  What should police do when individuals refuse to leave after being asked by the police?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 09:30:54 PM by LetterRip »

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 01:51:12 AM »
The police were even more patient than I'd thought.  The police had ordered them to leave three times before they called for backup and arrested them.

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When police arrived, two Starbucks employees told them two men had asked to use the restroom but were told they couldn't because they hadn't purchased anything. The men allegedly refused to leave after being asked by Starbucks employees. Ross also said the two men refused to leave after being asked three times by police officers.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/14/602556973/starbucks-police-and-mayor-weigh-in-on-controversial-arrest-of-2-black-men-in-ph


yossarian22c

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 07:32:37 AM »
The only detail I couldn't find in a quick search of a couple articles is how long the men were there before being asked to leave. Was is 5 minutes or an hour? There is a pretty big difference between those two in terms of what a reasonable interpretation is. There was at least 30 minutes between the 911 call and the arrest. Were all the other tables full so there was no room for other people ordering to sit down? 

Either way if you are there to be a customer and are just waiting on a friend, just go ahead and order your overpriced coffee when the manager asks you to order or leave. I have a hard time getting any kind of anger up over a situation that the "victims" could of prevented by ordering a cup of coffee or taking their business elsewhere.

Crunch

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 08:49:02 AM »
Racism was absolutely a factor here. But not on Starbucks part and certainly not by the police.

These guys saw their chance to become victims by playing the racism card. They’re gonna be heroes and propped up as examples of the rampant racism that exists in America. They will be used by the race baiters and hucksters as well as any black person with an axe to grind to prove it’s whitey keeping them down.

Sure, these guys broke the law. But it’s a white man’s law so they had the right to ignore it.

Watch this play out, you’re gonna see it.

JoshCrow

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 11:38:52 AM »
Yet another Rorschach test in which everybody interprets things in whatever manner suits their ideological preferences.

Is anybody else as tired of these as I am? Why is this sort of incident still being treated like news?

I keep thinking the media is now basically like Crossfire and I'm like Jon Stewart trying to tell them they're "hurting America".
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 11:42:08 AM by JoshCrow »

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 11:40:45 AM »
Crunch,

I think the most likely scenario is that the guys felt they were being singled out due to race which pissed them off and made them stubborn.

TheDrake

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 11:51:04 AM »
Would we even be having this conversation if it was Local Java that tossed the guys out? Of course not, it wouldn't fit the narrative of "Big corporation run by white men treats black customers badly."

It is a very common procedure for drugstores, coffee shops, and other locations to reserve restrooms for customer use. Otherwise, it can become a serious problem in downtown locations in particular, where you see things like these door codes to enforce it. I've been in that situation myself. You find the cheapest thing that exists in the store, and then get your bathroom privilege.

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 12:05:37 PM »
I've been in that situation myself. You find the cheapest thing that exists in the store, and then get your bathroom privilege.

Yep, same here.

I do think things might have gone differently if Starbucks had a history of this with all customers, rather than it being something that appears to be a recent initiative at only a subset of Starbucks.  Then I think the guys might not have felt singled out, and people wouldn't have interpreted it as a departure from the norm.

Seriati

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 12:56:11 PM »
I do think things might have gone differently if Starbucks had a history of this with all customers, rather than it being something that appears to be a recent initiative at only a subset of Starbucks.  Then I think the guys might not have felt singled out, and people wouldn't have interpreted it as a departure from the norm.

Not sure how recent it is, haven't been to this Starbucks, but some of the Manhattan ones have never let non-customers use their bathrooms.  I mean absent an employee taking pity on someone.

This story is one of those that trades on everyone's implicit bias to try and put their own local experience on it.  If you're used to Starbucks where people walk in and work all day without ever buying something, this seems egregious, if you're used to the kind where the manager's ask you to make space after about 30 minutes and only give out the bathroom code or key with a purchase, the forced apology seems egregious.

I find it interesting, that more blame isn't on the gentlemen for not leaving when asked.  Not sure why that's okay.  Why should the police have to be called on anyone to get them to leave?

It's also guaranteed that Starbucks management will apologize and announce some kind of "change" in policy.  Bad publicity on this is a no win, firing an employee for "not following procedure" or publicly announcing a "change" of policy is an easy fix.

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2018, 02:47:27 PM »
Seriati,

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Not sure how recent it is, haven't been to this Starbucks, but some of the Manhattan ones have never let non-customers use their bathrooms.  I mean absent an employee taking pity on someone.

It is the 'asking those who haven't bought anything recently to leave' that seems to be a change.

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This story is one of those that trades on everyone's implicit bias to try and put their own local experience on it.

I think it is more that the people doing the reporting are unaware of the variation and assume uniform experience.  This is part of the larger issue in the US that regional variations seem utterly incomprehensible or odd to those raised in a different region.

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If you're used to Starbucks where people walk in and work all day without ever buying something, this seems egregious, if you're used to the kind where the manager's ask you to make space after about 30 minutes and only give out the bathroom code or key with a purchase, the forced apology seems egregious.

Yeppers.

Gaoics79

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2018, 05:31:52 PM »
As others noted it depends on several factors. The Starbucks where I have lived would never question, let alone kick out a person for using the bathroom regardless of purchasing anything. Total non issue - you just use it. If it was in one here I'd say it is racism or possibly something like them looking like vagrants or suspicion of them being druggies or whatnot.

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2018, 07:35:47 PM »
As others noted it depends on several factors. The Starbucks where I have lived would never question, let alone kick out a person for using the bathroom regardless of purchasing anything. Total non issue - you just use it. If it was in one here I'd say it is racism or possibly something like them looking like vagrants or suspicion of them being druggies or whatnot.

They weren't kicked out for 'wanting to use the bathroom' - them wanting to use the bathroom brought up the issue that they hadn't bought anything after being there for half an hour, and that triggered the "no loitering" rule.

Both the 'bathrooms for patrons only' and the 'no loitering' rule are district specific.

TheDrake

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2018, 08:23:45 PM »
This report from a local abc station sheds a different light:

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Lauren said another woman had entered the Starbucks minutes before the men were arrested and was given the bathroom code without having to buy anything and that another person in the restaurant at the time of the incident "announced that she had been sitting at Starbucks for the past couple of hours without buying anything."

There's also another report that they were never asked to leave, and the manager just called the cops?

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Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross also weighed in on the matter via a Facebook video, which you can view below. Ross corroborated the manager’s account of the men being asked to leave, although witness accounts from Lauren and others cast doubt on if the manager bothered to directly ask the men to leave before calling the police.


LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2018, 09:19:15 PM »
TheDrake,

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Lauren said another woman had entered the Starbucks minutes before the men were arrested and was given the bathroom code without having to buy anything and that another person in the restaurant at the time of the incident "announced that she had been sitting at Starbucks for the past couple of hours without buying anything."

Would be interesting to have more detail.  Why would 'Lauren' have all of this knowledge?  It seems highly unlikely she would know the bathroom and purchase habits of other customers and have a detailed account of interactions between the manager and the black gentlemen.

TheDrake

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2018, 09:19:50 AM »
As the report says, "Lauren" shot the cell video of the scene. As to the knowledge, it sounds like everyone in there was comparing notes, and that someone claimed they had just got the bathroom code and another that they had been loitering for hours. As to whether they were telling the truth, or if Lauren heard them right, or if she made up the whole thing - you're right that we don't really know for sure.

Why did you put her name in quotes? Do you think she doesn't exist and ABC made it up or gave her a pseudonym?

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2018, 10:23:30 AM »
TheDrake,

she only shot cell video of the final interaction, about an hour after the initial interactions.  Only the girl who said she'd been there for hours was claimed to be a 'notes comparison' - the claim someone used the bathroom before without having bought anything was not AFAIK.

"As to whether they were telling the truth, or if Lauren heard them right, or if she made up the whole thing - you're right that we don't really know for sure."

The problem is that eyewitnesses in other claims of discrimination have frequently made stuff up wholesale - creating a narrative that is consistent with racism even if the facts directly contradict it.  I'm highly skeptical that she was paying attention sufficiently to know the bathroom habits and purchase habits of other customers.

As to name in quotes - she is only using her first name and is thus an anonymous source.

TheDrake

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2018, 10:37:38 AM »
"I'm highly skeptical that she was paying attention sufficiently to know the bathroom habits and purchase habits of other customers."

The bathroom quote was ambiguous - it neither suggested that she directly observed it nor that she heard it from someone else. She also could have made a common slip and describe something she heard from someone else and declare it her own experience.

I'm not going to say that I believe or trust her reports, especially secondhand. Eyewitnesses without any obvious biases often get things horribly wrong without deliberate misrepresentation.

I agree with you, it would be good to get more detail. A second source coming forward and confirming that it was them who went to the bathroom, or had been there for hours, or even overheard the same statement from an unidentified third party, would be a start.

Just like body cams, I would recommend that retail establishments install video and audio surveillance (which they probably have anyway). These should be periodically reviewed at random to confirm policy adherence. Heck, with advances in computer vision you might even be able to extract any clip in which a customer is angry.

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2018, 10:48:59 AM »
More digging - the Philedelphia Starbucks have apparently been cracking down on non-customers using bathrooms and the employees apparently have zero discretion.

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The bathroom policy at Philadelphia Starbucks cafes seems to be being enforced more rigorously in the past few months or so than in the past.

Unfortunately, the employees don’t seem to be able to use any discretion in applying the policy ( maybe a district manager threatened to fire employees who allow bathroom use without purchases, or mystery shoppers have been deployed to discreetly test how employees apply the policy )

I myself have seen a well dressed white businesswomen, with a Dolce and Gabbana handbag denied the bathroom code at 3rd and Arch because she hadn’t yet made a purchase. She was miffed, but bought a coffee and was given the code.

I have also seen an employee come out from behind the counter at 15th and Latimer and intercept an individual who had walked in and lined up to use the bathroom ( he was thinking he could just walk in one as another person was leaving ). Waste of an employee’s time and energy - they should be behind the counter save for cleaning tasks and restocking display cases.

https://www.reddit.com/r/philadelphia/comments/8c7f8q/apparently_if_youre_black_in_a_philly_starbucks/

As to why they have that policy - apparently people ODing in bathrooms is a regular occurrence and rather than discriminate against the homeless or people who 'look like drug users' they have a policy that anyone who wants to use the Philadelphia Starbucks restrooms needs to make a purchase.  Similar with the no loitering policy.

Seriati

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2018, 10:49:25 AM »
Just like body cams, I would recommend that retail establishments install video and audio surveillance (which they probably have anyway). These should be periodically reviewed at random to confirm policy adherence. Heck, with advances in computer vision you might even be able to extract any clip in which a customer is angry.

Gee whiz, won't life be better and more free when we're recorded every second of every day!

No one should need a recording here.  If the men were asked to leave, they should have left, then they never would have been arrested.  If they were being discriminated against (illegal) then they should have legal recourse.  Everyone jumping in on an altercall without evening knowing what really happened or which side was in the right doesn't lead to a better world.

Is the inquiry over if the store always enforced the policy race-blind?  Not a chance these days.  Even proof of the same wouldn't end this scandal, and that isn't right.  This is the public spectacle equivalent of a hanging jury or banana republic court, once accused there is no recourse but to be apologetic about your "guilt," because "not guilty" is not on the table.

On the other hand, maybe this store really only enforced the policy because the two men were black.  Seems unlikely in this day and age that there was a racist hiding in the bushes waiting for a chance to be a racist for racism's stake.  More likely, it was a mixed bag, someone who felt the men were threatening which was strongly influenced by race.  Not exactly okay either, but harder to fix, unless you want to tell people they are not allowed to be scared when race is involved?

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2018, 10:57:04 AM »
Also this store had signs posted "Customers Only" and "Bathrooms are for customer use only".  So this wasn't arbitrary - these were posted policies.


LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2018, 11:15:45 AM »
We also have a previous news report of a Philadelphia Starbucks refusing a cop to use the bathroom (and the cop ranted about it).

https://www.reddit.com/r/philadelphia/comments/3ktx1q/philly_cops_starbucks_restroom_rant_goes_viral/

Thus this seems to imply 'universal policy' rather than these gentlemen being singled out.

TheDrake

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2018, 11:47:21 AM »
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More likely, it was a mixed bag, someone who felt the men were threatening which was strongly influenced by race.  Not exactly okay either, but harder to fix, unless you want to tell people they are not allowed to be scared when race is involved?

That's right, you're supposed to train people not to use race as a distinguishing factor. When people do this as private citizens, okay fine. Go ahead and cross the street.

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Also this store had signs posted "Customers Only" and "Bathrooms are for customer use only".  So this wasn't arbitrary - these were posted policies.

Yes, and employees always follow posted policies. The employee has someone come in that's a personal friend, they're going to adhere to that policy? You tell me that a person that the employee finds attractive asks for the bathroom key and they are going to point at the sign and send them away? Uneven treatment is THE question here. And we lack the information to know what happened. The cop in the scenario could have been singled out also. The employee doesn't like cops, no exception for him.

Seriati, I don't know when you had the idea that you have an expectation to privacy in a retail scenario. Every convenience store, department store, big box store, hardware store, and most others have cameras in place for security and theft prevention. I'm just suggesting that this removes the guesswork, allows companies to be more proactive. You could accomplish the same thing with "secret shoppers" and other types of behavior auditing as well if you are uncomfortable with it.

The proper response in a proactive situation would simply be to provide coaching for the employee. Are you using race as a factor in your decisions? Why did you allow the white man in a suit to hang around for two hours without buying anything while asking the black teen in a hoodie to get out after 10 minutes?

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2018, 12:04:58 PM »
Yes, and employees always follow posted policies. The employee has someone come in that's a personal friend, they're going to adhere to that policy? You tell me that a person that the employee finds attractive asks for the bathroom key and they are going to point at the sign and send them away? Uneven treatment is THE question here. And we lack the information to know what happened. The cop in the scenario could have been singled out also. The employee doesn't like cops, no exception for him.

There is no evidence of uneven treatment.  Also it wasn't just a cop, there are public statements by employees at other Starbucks that this is their policy and it happens to everyone.

If this had been two white guys, the headlines would be "Cheap entitled *censored* refuse to buy a cup of coffee while taking up seats at a coffeeshop, and get arrested when they refuse to leave after being asked politely".


Seriati

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2018, 12:08:59 PM »
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More likely, it was a mixed bag, someone who felt the men were threatening which was strongly influenced by race.  Not exactly okay either, but harder to fix, unless you want to tell people they are not allowed to be scared when race is involved?

That's right, you're supposed to train people not to use race as a distinguishing factor. When people do this as private citizens, okay fine. Go ahead and cross the street.

Can you provide a clear guide for how to distinguish when a black man is being threatening versus when someone perceives him as being threatening?  Is someone permitted to treat a white man as a threat but required to give a black man the benefit of the doubt in the same circumstance?   How do you distinguish without a comparison whether the men were being threatening (a not uncommon passive response when denied something, like bathroom privileges or offended - and for the record, I've seen small women (as well as other kinds) absolutely flip out on people in such a situation and men get very hostile as well, this is not limited by race or gender) and men who were treated unfairly?

TheDrake

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2018, 12:30:17 PM »
A clear guide? Basically it would largely come down to self-awareness. Recognizing "I feel threatened" - "Why do I feel threatened" - "Is this legitimate?" An angry black customer is screaming at me - I'd better call the cops. Vs an angry white customer is screaming at me - I'll try to calm him down. The goal is to achieve the same benefit of the doubt based on race, not to crank it up more.

Being trained to go through that introspection would be a good idea when you are talking about customer service.

I'm not defending these guys for their decision to make a scene and get arrested, and I'm not asserting that this manager did anything that was racially motivated. I do know it is possible and it can and does happen.

D.W.

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2018, 12:39:32 PM »
What I want to know is if the employee was charged for improper use of 911?

scifibum

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2018, 12:49:45 PM »
Yeah 911 was a pretty silly move. 

In a perfect world: You didn't buy anything, you accede when asked to leave. You have no reason to be angry about this.

In reality: You're probably right that you're getting asked to leave in part because you are black. You should probably still leave, but you are probably not wrong to be angry about getting singled out. Not leaving as a form of civil disobedience is an option you have, but deploying it is a risky option.

Just a side observation: In general, truly public restrooms should be far more common in urban areas. Retail stores shouldn't have to deal with people dropping by solely to use the facilities. I don't doubt that some retailers would prefer to keep that traffic, but society should still provide facilities for public use.

DonaldD

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2018, 12:57:52 PM »
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There is no evidence of uneven treatment.
This is not true.  There is evidence, you just don't find it persuasive - which is fine.  But that does not make the evidence disappear.

Someone said something up above about a rorschach test... I heartily agree.  This is one of those cases where it may never be possible to get to what actually happened, but where the first blush of reporting is completely insufficient to form an opinion.

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2018, 02:23:26 PM »
What I want to know is if the employee was charged for improper use of 911?

What evidence is there that they called 911 rather than the police dispatch number?

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2018, 02:32:37 PM »
DonaldD,

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This is not true.  There is evidence, you just don't find it persuasive - which is fine.  But that does not make the evidence disappear.

I've provided evidence that

1) This was standard policy and there were clear signs announcing this policy at that Starbucks
2) It was enforced against rich white women, police, and every other demographic
3) That the policy was only enforced against them once they tried to use the bathroom and refused to order anything
4) That they disobeyed a lawful order numerous times before backup were called and they were arrested

So yes, there is evidence of uneven treatment - but it is the opposite direction.  A non-black individual would have had far less patience exhibited when they were told that they were trespassing and needed to leave - they wouldn't have been requested five times - after not complying with the police the first time they would be arrested for trespassing and would have charges filed for failure to obey a lawful order.

These gentlemen are not Rosa Parks.

JoshCrow

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2018, 03:29:17 PM »
Look everybody, they fixed it!  ;D

http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/17/news/companies/starbucks-store-closings-racial-bias-education/index.html

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Starbucks says it will close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for one afternoon to educate employees about racial bias.

This ought to totally make everybody happy and make sure nothing like this ever happens again (said nobody, ever).

More likely, this is a total waste of time for 175,000 workers with no demonstrable effects (or worse - I've heard that it can actually worsen racial bias).

DonaldD

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2018, 03:30:32 PM »
I think you left some out.  As was mentioned earlier:
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Lauren said another woman had entered the Starbucks minutes before the men were arrested and was given the bathroom code without having to buy anything and that another person in the restaurant at the time of the incident "announced that she had been sitting at Starbucks for the past couple of hours without buying anything."
Yes, you have mentioned a policy that has been, at different times and in other places, been enforced against different people.

But that does not make the "Lauren" evidence disappear.  And the "Lauren" evidence if of unequal treatment in that specific Starbucks at that specific time.

Whether they are Rosa Parks is immaterial to your mistake.

D.W.

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2018, 04:03:38 PM »
What I want to know is if the employee was charged for improper use of 911?

What evidence is there that they called 911 rather than the police dispatch number?
yossarian22c mentioned it.  Perhaps that was just shorthand for calling the police rather than what happened? 

TheDrake

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2018, 04:48:06 PM »
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In a video statement streamed on Facebook Live from the Philadelphia Police Department's page, Commissioner Richard Ross confirmed that on Thursday afternoon at 4:40 p.m., Philadelphia police received a 911 call from the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce Streets alleging disturbance and trespassing.

NPR

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2018, 09:51:39 PM »
Yes, you have mentioned a policy that has been, at different times and in other places, been enforced against different people.

And I've provided evidence that it was a district wide policy for that location. It was also a firing offense for failing to enforce it.

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But that does not make the "Lauren" evidence disappear.  And the "Lauren" evidence if of unequal treatment in that specific Starbucks at that specific time.

Hearsay doesn't qualify as evidence.  If a woman comes forward and claims that she had used that bathroom without purchase on that day, then we can call it evidence.  Also, even then it wouldn't necessarily be racial discrimination, but could also be just gender discrimination.

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Whether they are Rosa Parks is immaterial to your mistake.

No mistake was made, we just have different thresholds for what qualifies as evidence.  Hearsay of something that contradicts store policy of something that seems absurd that they would have been in a position to know or would have reason to observe isn't something that would be accepted as evidence by any reasonable person.

DonaldD

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2018, 07:39:38 AM »
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And I've provided evidence that it was a district wide policy for that location. It was also a firing offense for failing to enforce it.
Which has nothing to do with your claim of there being absolutely no evidence.

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Hearsay doesn't qualify as evidence
Hearsay evidence is by definition evidence.  It may or may not be admissible in court; sometimes it is, mostly it is not.  Of course, not all of Lauren's account is hearsay. Anyway, by characterizing Lauren's statements as "hearsay" you have actually accepted them as being evidence.

Evidence doesn't become not evidence just because you do not believe it.

D.W.

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2018, 08:58:12 AM »
So it sounded like they already had locked restrooms requiring a code.  People tend to hang out for extended stays at Starbucks due in part to their WiFi access as well.  Seems to me the whole thing is solvable by technology that could probably be paid for similar amounts to closing up shop nation wide for a day.  (if that day wasn't also a national holiday...)

On each receipt you print a QR code or pin number.  That code would be linked to both the toilet lock and the WiFi.  Set to expire after (however much time corp. determines is acceptable). 

Take the policy enforcement out of the hands of the employees.  If people want to lounge all day for free, go to the public library.  Many even have a cafe now...

TheDeamon

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2018, 09:52:37 AM »
I think you left some out.  As was mentioned earlier:
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Lauren said another woman had entered the Starbucks minutes before the men were arrested and was given the bathroom code without having to buy anything and that another person in the restaurant at the time of the incident "announced that she had been sitting at Starbucks for the past couple of hours without buying anything."
Yes, you have mentioned a policy that has been, at different times and in other places, been enforced against different people.

But that does not make the "Lauren" evidence disappear.  And the "Lauren" evidence if of unequal treatment in that specific Starbucks at that specific time.

Whether they are Rosa Parks is immaterial to your mistake.

Not everything should be taken at face value. Maybe the woman is "a regular customer" sufficient that she is known on sight by staff. As such, they weren't concerned about the specifics with her.

Other reasons include being an (off duty) employee, friend of somebody working the counter, or a few other things could potentially be relevant  there.

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2018, 10:42:38 AM »
Evidence doesn't become not evidence just because you do not believe it.

When people say 'evidence' in this context - it means 'credible evidence'.

My dog says that he watched the whole thing and he directly contradicts everything Lauren said.  So you obviously accept that as 'evidence' that Lauren is a liar - right?  Nope, because you knew that we were both talking about credible evidence.

Hearsay isn't credible evidence, and double hearsay of an anonymous witness especially isn't credible evidence.

DonaldD

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2018, 11:00:48 AM »
There are many, many people who think her observation, and her paraphrasing of another customer's statement, are credible. I don't think anybody is disputing this. And on its face, there is little in the article presented to refute her statement.

That is not to say that a more thorough reporter would not have looked for other, conflicting witness statements. Regardless, you are once again in a position of claiming that something is not evidence because you feel it is not credible.

It still is evidence. Making a statement that there was absolutely no evidence is simply incorrect and at worst a misrepresentation of the presented situation.  There is really no honest rationale in making the absolute claim.

Wayward Son

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2018, 11:50:24 AM »
I think you're missing the point, LetterRip, by closely examining the details of this incident and not looking at the big picture.

IMHO, Starbucks was well within its rights to ask these men to leave.  The rules they set up were not racist in any way that I can see, and it is in the business' interest to keep customers flowing and to not spend too much on restrooms for those who are not customers.

I think you are a somewhat jumping to conclusions when you state that, "It was enforced against rich white women, police, and every other demographic."  While that is true, it seems to imply that it is enforced equally to every demographic, which has yet to be proven.  One of the unstated purposes of this policy may be to keep "undesirables" (such as the homeless) from spending all day in the coffee house, especially in urban areas.

But, really, the protest against Starbucks isn't because of what Starbucks did in this particular instance.  If this was a truly egregious event, this would only have been a local matter, which probably would not have drawn national attention.

The protests and hubbub are because of everything that has happened before this incident.

Crunch understands, even though he doesn't realize it and tells himself it is for a completely false reason.  He understands the feeling of the system being gamed against you.  How you are at a disadvantage because of your race.  How you can't expect to treated just like the other guy, and how the justice system will be used harsher on you than the guy over there because you look different than him.  How you're resume won't get the same consideration if you have a name associated with an certain ethnicity.  How you're kid gets expelled from school for something another kid got detention for.  How staff will sometimes keep a closer eye on you when you browse through a store just because of the color of your skin...

When the protesters are looking at the video and seeing the men being lead away in handcuffs, they are not thinking about these two men.  They are not thinking about the alleged "Lauren" who got to stay at that time while these two didn't.  They are thinking about all the other times they witnessed or heard about someone being arrested when others might have been released with a warning.  They are thinking about the other times when someone got to do something they weren't allowed to do.

Closely analyzing this incident won't get you to the reason for the protests.  I don't think Starbuck's policy was overtly racist, or even intended to be covertly racist.  It's just another policy that people may interpret as being used against them because of their race.  Whether this one actually does or not is kinda beside the point.  Because if enough experience convinces people that these types of policies are being used against them, the resentment is going to build up.  And sometimes it explodes in circumstances that may not be ideal in exemplifying the problem.  Just close enough...

After all, Rosa Parks didn't refuse to sit where she was supposed to because that bus was more racist than any other bus.  It was because of all the other buses.  She just chose that one because it was convenient at the time.

Fenring

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2018, 11:54:59 AM »
Donald, "evidence" is a specific term. It does not mean information that you might use to form a nuanced judgement from limited information. Evidence in a scenario of a litigious nature specifically means solid information that would hold up in a court of law. A first-hand eyewitness account *may* count as evidence if the witness could pass muster, meaning they demonstrated they were in fact there and saw the entire series of events themselves rather than having heard murmurings from others at the time of the end of the incident. I'm not saying Lauren certainly isn't a reliable witness, but prior to establishing that she is her statement is just hearsay and should count under the category of "hm, we should check to see if there's anything to that". It does not automatically count as evidence that anything untoward happened in the Starbucks.

DonaldD

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2018, 12:47:11 PM »
Fenring, you've just made one of the same mistakes as did LetterRip.

You've used the word "hearsay" seemingly without realizing that, in context, it is an adjective used to modify the noun "evidence". When using it as a shorthand for "hearsay evidence" it does not magically lose its meaning - that it is a specific type of evidence.

By accepting that what Lauren presented is "hearsay", you have also accepted that she presented evidence.

As to your misunderstanding about the "solidity" of information: look, some evidence is strong, some is weak, some is corroborated by other evidence, some would be either admissible or inadmissible in court. Evidence doesn't stop being evidence based a witness "passing muster" (whatever that means).

Yes, "evidence" is a term with a specific meaning. Your idea of what "counts" doesn't change that.


LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2018, 01:05:18 PM »
There are many, many people who think her observation, and her paraphrasing of another customer's statement, are credible.

There are many people who believe in that tarot cards and horoscopes can be used to predict the future.  Public predisposition to believe something doesn't provide any insight into credibility.

 
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And on its face, there is little in the article presented to refute her statement.

She made two statements that were contradicted by other evidence.  She said the police asked them to leave and then began moving chairs.  It wasn't till the third time that they refused to leave that the chairs were moved.  She said that the manager hadn't said anything to them.  They were told that they had to order something or leave.  So she either has abnormally high observation skills in some aspects that she would have no reason to; followed by extremely poor observation skills for important details - or she isn't credible.

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That is not to say that a more thorough reporter would not have looked for other, conflicting witness statements. Regardless, you are once again in a position of claiming that something is not evidence because you feel it is not credible.

Incorrect.  She isn't credible due to her evidence contradicting known evidence; that her claimed observations are extremely suspect based on both the required amount of observation (she observed multiple white people use the bathroom without purchase; she observed the african american gentlemen for half an hour before the police showed up to know that the manager didn't interact with them to inform them they were trespassing) and it would be a fireable policy violation among other factors; and that she is an anonymous witness.

D.W.

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2018, 01:06:30 PM »
Wayward Son, let me test my understanding here.
  • The policy is not racist.
  • It's still a proxy war that is justified in the greater crusade against racism?

Isn't there enough actual racism and racists in the country to combat?  Are the battles left too difficult, when they must be waged against unrepentant racists?  Is the only progress to be made among those capable of empathy and shame (or just good business sense) to accept the role of symbolic repentant?

Seriati

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #45 on: April 18, 2018, 01:09:00 PM »
I almost responded yesterday to DonaldD's original point, that there was no evidence of uneven treatment, cause we only have one case.  But then I realized, he was referring to the quotes as evidence of another event that was handled differently.  Not something I'd rely on, but certainly enough for someone with a confirmation bias operating.

It is hearsay, which is evidence.  Hearsay is largely not allowed in court because it's highly unreliable, particularly in a context like this where emotions are charged and reporters (rather officers) are looking for quotes.  If you want evidence on the point it covers you generally have to drag in the actual person that was involved (ie the person who went to the bathroom without a purchase, not the person who heard about it) to testify.  In race  cases, it's been very common for interviewees to make specific inflammatory statements that don't hold up, either because they turn out not have really seen it or because the actual evidence directly contradicts them.  I think relying on a quote as meaningful evidence is uncalled for, real news organizations would track down others who have used or been denied the bathroom codes rather than print an inflammatory comment from someone, who "heard that someone else..."

To me this is a real story that has all the trademarks of fake news.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone is necessarily lying, I just think the way the tale has been told is designed to create more news than really exists.  There are plenty of elements included to provide confirmation bias support regardless of you point of view and very little facts to dispute or discredit any specific interpretation.  This story looks, to me, like it was deliberately crafted and under-researched to maximize the potential to generate controversy, rather than any desire for accurate reporting of information.

In fact, if Starbucks didn't actually discriminate then this whole story is effectively a misleading lie.

Wayward wrote a long write up that it many ways just echoes what I originally said.  Whether or not there was racism actually involved, an altar-call was issued on the basis of racism, which means any "non-racist" must prove their faith by jumping in on the side of the men without regard to what the underlying facts really are.  Even asking questions about the underlying facts is evidence of either your express racist tendencies or some kind of "privilege" that's preventing you from acknowledging the true racist underpinnings here.  The underlying facts, as Wayward pointed out, don't matter at all, this is about the "big picture" and the "historical background."

LetterRip, I do think you should rethink the 'not Rosa Parks' comment.  To me these guys would be exactly like Rosa if they refused to comply in the face of an actual racist enforcement of the policy.  Unfortunately, the media is not interested in providing the actual facts to let us know if there is a real racist policy (which should have happened before they ran the story), or at least they aren't interested until the exciting racial story plays out in ratings wins and headlines.  They may deign to write it up accurately after the headlines are done, thus protecting themselves from liability by issuing a "correction," and claiming 'no harm no foul,' notwithstanding very big harm all around.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 01:11:44 PM by Seriati »

Fenring

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2018, 01:32:05 PM »
You've used the word "hearsay" seemingly without realizing that, in context, it is an adjective used to modify the noun "evidence". When using it as a shorthand for "hearsay evidence" it does not magically lose its meaning - that it is a specific type of evidence.

I guess I was assuming you knew I meant admissible evidence, since I didn't think there would be much purpose in you suggesting that inadmissible evidence was worth debating about. But yes, I could have been more specific, so sorry if I was unclear. My point was that for the hearsay to count as admissible evidence the eyewitness account would have to be verified. Until such time as that is achieved the hearsay doesn't 'count' on the side that something bad happened; it only counts as a trail to investigate to verify whether there even is such a side.

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2018, 01:56:12 PM »
LetterRip, I do think you should rethink the 'not Rosa Parks' comment.  To me these guys would be exactly like Rosa if they refused to comply in the face of an actual racist enforcement of the policy.

Good point, I fully agree.

I think the reporters have been extremely lazy and prejudged the incident.  I think it is possible there was racism - but the fact that there was a District Manager policy regarding this; the fact that the Starbucks statement has been "there is no company wide policy" and neglecting that they had district level policies and implied it was a store policy - it looks to me like someone was following the district policy and is getting thrown to the wolves (though I suspect Starbucks likely paid them to go away quietly).

LetterRip

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #48 on: April 18, 2018, 02:08:59 PM »
Okay, we now have a recording of the call made by the manager and the communication by the police.  The manager calls and says two men are refusing to order and refusing to leave (note that no mention of ethnicity is made by the starbucks supervisor or police).

http://6abc.com/listen-philly-police-release-call-from-starbucks-employee/3357184/


Wayward Son

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Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« Reply #49 on: April 18, 2018, 03:37:50 PM »
Wayward Son, let me test my understanding here.
  • The policy is not racist.
  • It's still a proxy war that is justified in the greater crusade against racism?

It's more on the order of:  it's a policy that is not intended or designed to be racist, but like many others, could be racist by implementation.

IOW, the people singled out by this policy most likely will be those of a certain economic status and possibly certain races.  Not exclusively, mind you, but mostly.  Generally.  Most of the time.

It's like crack cocaine having stiffer penalties than powered cocaine.  Not really racist, except for the fact that crack was used primarily by minorities while powered was used primarily by whites.  Or voter ID laws which just happen to affect minorities far more than whites.

Closely examining a single case of either won't get you the big picture of how the laws affect the community, nor explain the reaction of the community to a single case.  Because it is a reaction to all the incidents before, not to that particular incident.

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Isn't there enough actual racism and racists in the country to combat?  Are the battles left too difficult, when they must be waged against unrepentant racists?  Is the only progress to be made among those capable of empathy and shame (or just good business sense) to accept the role of symbolic repentant?

Uh...I don't understand what you're trying to say here...  :-[