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Rashon Nelson initially brushed it off when the Starbucks manager told him he couldn’t use the restroom because he wasn’t a paying customer.
Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. has said the location where the arrests occurred has a policy that restrooms are for paying customers only.
Robinson said he thought about his loved ones and how the afternoon had taken such a turn as he was taken to jail. Nelson wondered if he’d make it home alive. “Anytime I’m encountered by cops, I can honestly say it’s a thought that runs through my mind,” Nelson said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”
Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney, who is white, said what happened at the Starbucks “appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018.”
Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who’s black, said in a Facebook video that arresting officers “did absolutely nothing wrong,” and added that Nelson and Robinson were disrespectful to officers. Ross said officers did what they were supposed to do and were professional in their dealings with the men, “and instead they got the opposite back.”