Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, two black men who were arrested last month for sitting in a Philadephia Starbucks without ordering, has settled with the city for $1 each and a promise from city officials to launch a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.
Nelson, Robinson, and their lawyer told the Associated Press that the settlement was an effort to make sure something positive came out of the incident.
“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,” said Donte Robinson. “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.”
Rashon and Donte were arrested after a Starbucks manager called the police and accused the young men of trespassing. The men, who had not ordered anything from the coffeehouse chain, said they were waiting for a friend to arrive before they began their business meeting, which is not uncommon at Starbucks.
Following the incident, which sent the country into a rage over its ongoing issue of racial profiling, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson came to Philadelphia to apologize to the men. He also announced that more than 8,000 Starbucks stores in the U.S. would close on the afternoon of May 29 so nearly 175,000 employees can get training in unconscious bias.
“I am pleased to have resolved the potential claims against the city in this productive manner,” Mayor Jim 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.”
The entrepreneur program will be for Philadelphia public high school students and according to USA Today, their arrest record will be expunged as part of the deal.