Starbucks to open bathrooms to all visitors after racial firesto - CBS46 News

Starbucks to open bathrooms to all visitors after racial firestorm

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
  • NationalMore>>

  • Slain Colorado mother painted rosy picture of married life

    Slain Colorado mother painted rosy picture of married life

    Friday, August 17 2018 5:21 AM EDT2018-08-17 09:21:50 GMT
    (The Colorado Bureau of Investigation via AP). This photo combo of images provided by The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts.  The Frederick Police Department said Chris Watts was taken into ...(The Colorado Bureau of Investigation via AP). This photo combo of images provided by The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts. The Frederick Police Department said Chris Watts was taken into ...
    A slain Colorado mother whose 2 young daughters were also killed painted a rosy picture of married life.More >
    A slain Colorado mother whose 2 young daughters were also killed painted a rosy picture of married life.More >
  • Multi-gene test may find risk for heart disease and more

    Multi-gene test may find risk for heart disease and more

    Friday, August 17 2018 5:07 AM EDT2018-08-17 09:07:29 GMT
    New way to track millions of genetic variations promises better forecasting of people's risk for heart attacks, four other disorders.More >
    New way to track millions of genetic variations promises better forecasting of people's risk for heart attacks, four other disorders.More >
  • Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

    Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

    Friday, August 17 2018 5:07 AM EDT2018-08-17 09:07:18 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File). FILE - In this June 22, 2012 file photo, a smoker extinguishes a cigarette in an ash tray in Sacramento, Calif. If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may seem like you’re trading one set of health problems for anoth...(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File). FILE - In this June 22, 2012 file photo, a smoker extinguishes a cigarette in an ash tray in Sacramento, Calif. If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may seem like you’re trading one set of health problems for anoth...
    US study finds you're better off in the long run if you quit smoking, even if you gain weight.More >
    US study finds you're better off in the long run if you quit smoking, even if you gain weight.More >

WASHINGTON (AP) - Starbucks has adopted an open-bathroom policy following the arrest last month of two African American men at a coffee shop in Philadelphia.

Chairman Howard Schultz says he doesn't want the company to become a public bathroom, but feels employees can make the "right decision a hundred percent of the time," if that choice is removed at the store level.

One of the men arrested on April 12 was denied use of a bathroom. He and his partner sat down to await a business meeting they had scheduled at the store, but were arrested minutes later by police.

The incident was captured by people using cell phones and it went viral.

The arrest of Rashon Nelson, along with his childhood friend and business partner, Donte Robinson, set off a firestorm for the company, which will shut down more than 8,000 of its U.S. stores on the afternoon of May 29 to instruct 175,000 employees how to better recognize unconscious bias.

Access to store bathrooms, for which Schultz said Starbucks had maintained a "loose policy," came into even sharper focus after another video, taken in January, emerged. The video shows a black man claiming he was denied access to a bathroom at a Starbucks in California while a white man was allowed entry. Neither man had made a purchase, according to the video shot by Brandon Ward, which is posted on his Facebook page.

Schultz, speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Thursday, said previous policy required a purchase, but that the decision was ultimately left with store managers, The Washington, The Seattle Times, and other media outlets reported.

The arrests in Philadelphia were a major embarrassment for Starbucks, which has long projected itself as a socially conscious company.

Nelson and Robinson settled with Starbucks earlier this month for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education. Separately, they reached a deal with Philadelphia for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from city officials to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.