Starbucks across country close Tuesday for racial bias training

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Thousands of Starbucks shops in New York City and across the country briefly shut their doors for anti-bias training.

The mandatory sessions follow last month's controversial arrests of two black men in Philadelphia.

Police said the men were arrested after a Starbucks manager asked them to leave because they hadn't bought anything and asked to use the restroom, which is against company policy. Video of the arrest was posted to Twitter and caused a public outcry.

READ MORE: Which Starbucks locations are closed for racial-bias training?

In response, Starbuck's CEO issued an apology, and the company announced it would close stores Tuesday for racial bias training. Training took place in the afternoon and was designed to prevent discrimination in stores.

Eight-thousand stores in total closed temporarily. During the shutdown, roughly 175,000 employees watched a documentary and talked about their real-life experiences.

Not all stores closed for the training. Licensed stores that Starbucks does not own were not required to close.

These included locations in airports, on college and private business campuses and within grocery and other retail stores.

* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.