After being wrongfully detained at a Starbucks in Southern California, a Black family has received an $8.25 million settlement, according to court documents.
The incident took place in July 2019 when employees at a Starbucks in Riverside, California, called the police on the family. The family had been waiting for their grandmother, who had gone to the restroom before the incident. The employees alleged that the family was trespassing and refused to leave, which prompted the police call.
The family was held for over an hour until the police confirmed that they had not committed any crime. The incident caused distress to the family, particularly the children, and led to a public outcry.
The family sued Starbucks, and the settlement was reached after a year of negotiations. The settlement includes $1 million for the family’s children and $250,000 for each family member who was wrongfully detained.
In a joint statement, the family and Starbucks said they would work together to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
“We’re pleased to have resolved this matter with the family and are grateful to have had the opportunity to connect over our shared values and commitment to ensuring a safe and welcoming experience for everyone who visits our stores,” the statement read.
The incident sparked conversations about racial profiling and discrimination in public spaces, particularly against Black people. Starbucks faced backlash in 2018 when two Black men were wrongfully arrested at a Philadelphia location for not making a purchase while waiting for a business associate.
The company has since implemented implicit bias training for its employees and made efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices. However, incidents of discrimination and bias continue to occur at Starbucks and other businesses, highlighting the need for ongoing efforts to address systemic issues.