Two men arrested at Starbucks settle for $200,000 youth programme

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Two black men who were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks as they waited for a friend to arrive have settled with the city. 

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson’s lawyer and Mayor Jim Kenney told The Associated Press the men settled on Wednesday for a symbolic $1 each, as well as a promise from officials to set up a $200,000 programme for young entrepreneurs. 

“I am pleased to have resolved the potential claims against the city in this productive manner,” Kenney said. “This was an incident that evoked a lot of pain in our city and put us under a national spotlight for unwanted reasons.”

Nelson and Robinson were arrested on April 12 after they declined to order drinks because they said they were waiting for a third man to arrive for a business meeting. 

The men’s arrest led to days of protests and the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks going viral on Twitter.

Starbucks issued an apology and vowed to close down more than 8,000 stores for one day in May for racial bias training for their staff.

The entrepreneur programme will be aimed at Philadelphia’s public high school students. 

“We thought long and hard about it, and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see,” Robinson said. “It’s not a right-now thing that’s good for right now, but I feel like we will see the true change over time.”

Nelson and Robinson will also have their arrest record expunged under the settlement. 

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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