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Nelson said that he had asked to use the restroom and that an employee informed him it was for paying customers only. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing.

"You never know what's going to happen", he said, adding that he wants to "help people understand it's not just a black people thing; it's a people thing". "We put in a lot of time, energy, effort".

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse. Robinson says he told her that they were fine and that they were just going to have a business meeting quickly, then leave.

The remainder of the recording features back-and-forth between the dispatcher and responding officers.

"It's a real estate meeting".

Robinson said that he appreciates the public support but that anger and boycotting Starbucks are not the solution. "We were at a moment that could have a positive impact on a whole ladder of people, lives, families".

The men claimed they were handcuffed and taken out to a police squad auto, and were not told what they were being arrested for.

A video of the incident, filmed by an onlooker, has been viewed nearly 11 million times. "If there is an issue where you have a company policy that allows people to stay without purchasing, and that's the reason for your call, it begs the question, 'why did that happen in the first place?'" he said. "They had nothing. They just kept using "defiant trespassing" as their excuse for putting us behind bars".

The arrests have been a "stepping stone to really stand up and show your greatness and that you are not judged by the color of your skin", Nelson said.

"I should have said the officers acted within the scope of the law and not that they didn't do anything wrong", Ross said during a press conference Thursday.

Johnson, joined by fellow councilpersons Blondell Reynolds Brown, Helen Gym and Derek Greene, Philadelphia NAACP President Rodney Muhammad, and other community leaders, had just finished meeting with Starbucks officials and gave them less than stellar reviews. They were also not told by the staff to leave prior.

The CEO of the company, Kevin Johnson, accepted to meet with the two men and apologized to them. "Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store". We can only hope Donte and Rashon will receive millions from Starbucks and the Philadelphia police department.

The men said they are looking for more lasting results and are in mediation with Starbucks to make changes, including the posting in stores of a customer bill of rights; the adoption of new policies on customer ejections and racial discrimination; and independent investigations of complaints. "They were wrong, and for that, I personally apologise to the gentlemen that visited our store".

Amid a highly publicised controversy, Starbucks will close 8,000 of its company-owned cafes in the United States on 29 May to put 175,000 employees through "racial bias education".

Speaking for the first time about the arrest, Nelson told the ABC network on Thursday that he and Robinson had never been given a chance to explain themselves when the police arrived in the downtown store last Thursday.

"We need a different type of action. not words", Robinson said.