Rashon Nelson wiped off first when the Starbucks manager told him he could not use the toilet because he was not a paying customer.
He did not think if he and his business partner, Donte Robinson, were there they came to their table and were asked if they needed help. The 23-year-old entrepreneurs refused and said they were just waiting for a business meeting.
A few minutes later, they barely noticed when the police walked into the cafe – until officers walked in their direction.
"So we knew she called the police to us," Nelson told the Associated Press in the men's first interview since the video of her April 12 arrests became viral.
Nelson and Robinson, black men who became best friends in fourth grade, were taken in handcuffs by Starbucks at Philadelphia's Tony Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, where Robinson is a customer since his 1
Video recorded on a cell phone video of a white customer galvanized people around the country that saw the exchange as modern racism. The following week, the men met with the Starbucks CEO and started pushing for sustainable change to make sure that what happened to them did not happen to anyone else.
"We were there for a real reason, a real business. We worked on it," Robinson said. "We put in a lot of time, energy and effort, and we were in a moment that could have a positive impact on a lot of people, lives and families, so I thought, no, you're not stopping that now."
Robinson said he thought of his loved ones and how the afternoon was such Had taken a turn when he was sent to jail. Nelson wondered if he would come home alive.
"Anytime I've been found by police, I can honestly say it's a thought that goes through my mind," Nelson said. "You never know what's going to happen."
Democratic mayor Jim Kenney "Who knows, has said what happened at Starbucks," it seems in 2018, is what racial discrimination looks like. "Police chief Richard Ross, who is black, said in a Facebook post that arrested officers" did absolutely nothing wrong, "adding Nelson and Robinson were disrespectful to officers.
Ross said Officers did what they do should and should be professional in their relationships with men, "and instead they got the opposite back."  Nelson and Robinson originally believed Andrew Yaffe, a white local businessman, to meet in a Starbucks in the city.But the plan changed themselves, and they agreed to meet at Rittenhouse Square, where they had met several times on a potential real estate opportunity.
"I feel like I'm short-circuiting," he explained. I tried to think of something I'd done wrong, not just me, but my brother, my lifelong friend … in this situation.
Attorney Stewart Cohen, representing Nelson and Robinson, said the men were illegally portrayed under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits racial discrimination in hotels, restaurants, theaters, and other public places
Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. has stated that the place where the arrests took place has a policy. These toilets are paying (19659002). Nelson and Robinson spent hours in a prison cell with no outside contact and no sense of what They were released after midnight when the prosecutor refused to prosecute them for trespassing and they had no idea that the video of their arrests on the Internet was going around.
The day after their arrest, they thought about it after what they should do next.
"They are from someone who is just trying to get entrepreneurs u be with your own dreams and aspirations, and then that happens, "Nelson said. Do you sit up and just watch everyone else fight for you, do you let it slip as if we let everything else slip with injustice? "
Robinson, still focused on the previous day's deal, called Yaffe to plan. Yaffe told him about the video and the traction it had received.
At the weekend, attention and indignation grew over the video, leading to a protest at the local Starbucks restaurant and a nationwide boycott. On Monday, the men met with Kevin Johnson, Starbucks CEO, to discuss what had happened.
Johnson quickly responded to public indignation about the arrests and described them as "reprehensible"
Nelson and Robinson said they are looking for more durable results and are in the process of mediating with Starbucks to implement changes, including the publication of one Customer invoice in stores; the adoption of new policies on customer break-outs, racial profiling and racial discrimination; and independent investigation of complaints about profiling or discrimination of customers and employees.
Robinson said he appreciates men's public support, but Starbuck's anger and boycott is not the answer.
"We need a different kind of action … no words," he said. "It's a time to be attentive and to understand what's really going on, we want a seat at the table."