Update: This post,
which first appeared
April 18, 2018, was removed
then reposted because of
a technical issue.
Q: Technology and social movements may help
address profiling issues in the consumer marketplace,
you noted.Recently, cell phone video went viral after the
controversial arrest and jailing of two minority men sitting at
a Philadelphia Starbuck’s.
They were later released without charge.
What do you think about this incident and
how else might technology put an end to such incidents?
A: The term loitering is often defined in vague terms
in many jurisdictions. Black’s law dictionary is one example
that underscores the issue.
The men were sitting quietly for 15 minutes, according to witnesses.
The Starbucks worker’s exchange with the men, prior to calling
the police (Nestel), suggests anger is evident.
Details in The Washington Post provides further clues
as to why the situation escalated.
Some might argue
that the call to police was racial bias and also a power play.
I would not disagree. The men were later released from jail because Starbucks declined to press charges. One wonders what charges would have applied in this case.
If store owners are concerned with customers who
sit for long periods without buying (CNN),
then if ordinances permit, management should consider posting
at every table a courteous, humorous, and effective
policy guideline enforced equally for all people.
Cell phone technology and social media captured and exposed the incident.
But Virtual Reality may be an effective tool to educate
those who never experience racial bias.
Handcuffing of 2 Black men in a Starbucks
called repressible outcome by CEO
Comedian, CNN commentator
W. Kamau Bell recalls
being kicked out of coffee shop
The Washington Post.com
Starbucks to close 8,000 Starbucks
for racial bias education
The men arrested in Philadelphia
Coffeeshop speak out
Dee Adams is the editor of
Shopping & Racial Profiling