Philly police update trespass policy after Starbucks arrests

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 8, 2018 12:56 PM

Screenshot of video taken at a Philadelphia Starbucks, where two black men were arrested while waiting for a friend. (Courtesy of WHYY)

(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia Police Department has updated its policy on when to arrest people accused of trespassing on private property nearly two months after two black men were arrested at a Starbucks where they were waiting for a meeting.

Under the new policy announced Friday, officers are instructed to first attempt to de-escalate and mediate a disturbance between a property owner and accused offender.

Before an officer arrests someone, that person must understand he or she is not allowed on the property.

The officer also must witness the person refusing to leave. Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested April 12 within minutes of arriving at a Philadelphia Starbucks.

A viral video of their arrests sparked national outrage and has led to policy changes at the world's largest coffeehouse chain.

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