Star­bucks CEO calls for ‘un­con­scious bias’ train­ing

Dam­age con­trol con­tin­ues af­ter two black men ar­rested.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - By Rachel Siegel and Alex Horton Wash­ing­ton Post

The chief ex­ec­u­tive of Star­bucks on Mon­day called for “un­con­scious bias” train­ing for store man­agers and un­equiv­o­cally apol­o­gized for what he called “rep­re­hen­si­ble” cir­cum­stances that led to the ar­rest of two black men at a Philadel­phia store.

Star­bucks Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin John­son said on “Good Morn­ing Amer­ica” that the com­pany was re­view­ing the ac­tions of the store man­ager who called the po­lice. John­son said that “what hap­pened to those two gen­tle­men was wrong.”

“My re­spon­si­bil­ity is to look not only to that in­di­vid­ual but look more broadly at the cir­cum­stances that set that up just to en­sure that never hap­pens again,” John­son told GMA an­chor Robin Roberts.

John­son, who flew to Philadel­phia as protests broke out, said he hoped to meet with the two men to apol­o­gize.

NBC and CNN re­ported that John­son was ex­pected to meet with the two men. Ex­actly when the meet­ing would take place was not im­me­di­ately clear.

The man­ager who called the po­lice on the two men no longer works at Star­bucks, ac­cord­ing to the Philadel­phia Inquirer. The news­pa­per de­scribed a “mu­tual” de­ci­sion be­tween the man­ager and the com­pany.

Protests con­tin­ued on Mon­day at the Star­bucks w h e r e t h e m e n w e r e ar­rested. GMA de­scribed the protests in­side the Star­bucks as “a stand-in,” with NPR re­port­ing chants of “Star- bucks cof­fee is anti-black.”

At least six Philadel­phia Po­lice of­fi­cers stood over two seated black men, ask­ing them to leave. The of­fi­cer said that they were not com­ply­ing and were be­ing ar­rested for tres­pass­ing.

The two uniden­ti­fied men were taken out in hand­cuffs soon af­ter. The men were held for nearly nine hours, said Lau­ren Wim­mer, an at­tor­ney who rep­re­sented the men. No charges were filed.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Richard Ross ad­dressed the in­ci­dent on Face­book Live on Satur­day, say­ing that one or both of the men asked to use the re­stroom but had not pur­chased any­thing. An em­ployee said Star­bucks com­pany pol­icy was to refuse the use of the bath­rooms to non-cus­tomers and asked the men to leave, ac­cord­ing to Ross. The em­ployee called the po­lice when they re­fused. to re­move it vol­un­tar­ily so it can be sent back to the man­u­fac­turer or de­stroyed.

Lara An­ton, a spokes­woman for the agency, said it is sim­ply try­ing to clar­ify and en­force ex­ist­ing rules be­cause i nspec­tors have been en­coun­ter­ing a pro­lif­er­a­tion of CBD prod­ucts made out of state that are be­ing shipped into Texas for sale, and they’re per­plexed as to how to han­dle them.

Foods and sup­ple­ments that merely pro­mote “hemp oil” as an i ngre­di­ent still could be sold in Texas under the plan, An­ton said, be­cause the state agency would as­sume the con­cen­tra­tions of CBD and THC they con­tain are at trace lev­els only. But any­thing specif­i­cally ad­ver­tis­ing CBD or THC on its la­bel would have to be re­moved.

“If you have l i s t e d i t as an i ngre­di­ent on your la­bel, then it’s clearly at an en­hanced level,” she said.

The health ser­vices depart­ment isn’t plan­ning to do any ac­tual test­ing of prod­ucts, An­ton said, al­though there would be a pro­ce­dure for com­pa­nies to have in­de­pen­dent lab anal­y­sis done to prove only trace con­cen­tra­tions if they want to keep sell­ing in Texas.

She said there is no timetable for the agency to make a de­ci­sion on the plan, al­though a pub­lic com­ment pe­riod on it ended Mon­day.

Sales of CBD prod­ucts under the Texas Com­pas­sion­ate Use Act, which are al­lowed only to cer­tain pa­tients suf­fer­ing from rare in­tractable epilepsy and under a doc­tor’s di­rec­tion, won’t be af­fected by the pro­posal.

But Mor­ris Den­ton, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Com­pas­sion­ate Cul­ti­va­tion — one of three med­i­cal cannabis dis­pen­saries li­censed under the re­stric­tive law — said he con­sid­ers the health agency’s po­ten­tial crack­down on over-the-counter re­tail prod­ucts “a step back” for Tex­ans nonethe­less if it isn’t cou­pled with a plan to make reg­u­lated CBD prod­ucts avail­able to more peo­ple.

“It’s trou­bling to me that a great per­cent­age of Tex­ans will no longer be able to achieve that ben­e­fit” de­rived from CBD, said Den­ton, whose dis­pen­sary is in Man­chaca. “If you are just tak­ing a prod­uct away from peo­ple that has helped them, but not giv­ing them a le­gal so­lu­tion, then I think that is a step back.”

The Com­pas­sion­ate Use Act is over­seen by the Texas Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety, and it re­quires that prod­ucts made by the three dis­pen­saries be tested and con­tain at least 10 per­cent CBD. Some over-the-counter CBD prod­ucts sold at re­tail stores in Texas face only light reg­u­la­tions in the states where they are made, and tests have shown that they don’t al­ways con­tain the con­cen­tra­tions of in­gre­di­ents they tout.

Con­nor Oak­ley, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Med­i­cal Cannabis As­so­ci­a­tion of Texas, said he sup­ports more test­ing of CBD prod­ucts sold at re­tail. But he agreed with Den­ton that re­mov­ing them from shelves ab­sent a larger plan is trou­bling.

“To take this away from Tex­ans would be a great dis­ser­vice — just com­pletely out of the blue, it’s a huge, un­nec­es­sary step back­wards,” Oak­ley said. “Maybe (the health agency) could pro­pose some test­ing pa­ram­e­ters, if they feel it is as ur­gent as they seem to.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.