Update: Starbucks CEO hopes to meet black men arrested in Philadelphia shop

Update: Starbucks CEO hopes to meet black men arrested in Philadelphia shop
Protesters gather outside a Starbucks in Philadelphia yesterday where where two black men were arrested Thursday. Photo: AP Photo/Ron Todt.

Update: Starbucks CEO hopes to meet black men arrested in Philadelphia shop

The CEO of Starbucks has arrived in Philadelphia, hoping to meet two black men who were arrested when the coffee chain's employees told police they were trespassing.

Calling their arrest "reprehensible", Kevin Johnson told ABC's Good Morning America: "I would like to have a dialogue with them to make sure we have the opportunity to really understand the situation and they can join me in finding constructive way to solve this issue."

Meanwhile, about two dozen chanting protesters took over the Starbucks location in Philadelphia today to protest against the arrests.

"We don't want this Starbucks to make any money today. That's our goal," said Abdul-Aliy Muhammad, one of the protest's organisers and co-founder of the Black and Brown Workers Collective.

Just before 7.30am local time, the protesters moved inside and stood in front of the counter, some holding banners reading: "End Stop and Frisk," chanting slogans like: "A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black."

Starbucks regional vice president Camille Hymes attempted to talk to the protesters, but was shouted down.

Earlier: Protests planned for Starbucks where two black men were arrested

Protests are planned at a Philadelphia Starbucks where two black men were arrested after store employees called 911 to say they were trespassing.

Organisers have called for protests outside the city centre cafe.

Over the weekend, demonstrators called for the sacking of the employee who contacted police, who subsequently arrested the men on Thursday.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said officers were told the men had asked to use the store's restroom but were denied because they had not bought anything. He said they then refused to leave.

Police have not released the names of the men who were arrested. A spokesman for the district attorney's office said the two were released "because of lack of evidence" that a crime had been committed.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has called the arrests a "reprehensible outcome" and said he wants to personally apologise to the men.

- Digital Desk and Press Association

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