Black men arrested at Starbucks for not ordering anything

The men being led out of Starbucks.
The men being led out of Starbucks. Photo credit: Twitter/Melissa DePino

Starbucks has apologised after two black men were wrongfully arrested by police in a Philadelphia cafe.

An employee reportedly called the police because the men hadn't ordered anything and were just sitting in the store.

But the men had simply been waiting for a friend to show up when they were handcuffed and taken in by police.

Starkbucks apologised on Saturday (local time), saying it was disappointed and takes the matter seriously.

"We clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our stores.

"We are reviewing our policies and will continue to engage with the community and the police department to try to ensure these types of situations never happen in any of our stores."

The men were reportedly released from police custody at 1:30am the following morning (local time). 

Video footage of the incident drew criticism after being widely shared online.

"WTF? Problem, Blacks, especially Black men, are perceived as a menace. These men weren't in a bank lobby waiting for a friend. They were in a damn Starbucks...THE "meet me" spot in America," wrote comic Wanda Sykes.

"Some people think there is no such thing as racial profiling. That it is made-up or an exaggeration. It's not. This type of thing still happens in America. People get arrested for doing nothing...but being black or being Hispanic. @Starbucks, you got some explaining to do," wrote another Twitter user.

"The look of (self-protective) resignation on the men's faces is heartbreaking and infuriating," said another.

Black men in the United States are frequently wrongly singled out by police.