White Starbucks manager claims racial bias in her firing after arrests of 2 black men


A white former regional manager for Starbucks alleges in a lawsuit that she was a victim of racial discrimination when the coffee giant fired her after the arrests of two black men in a Philadelphia store last year sparked local and national outrage.

In the suit filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey, Shannon Phillips alleges she was a 13-year employee of Starbucks, overseeing stores in southern New Jersey, the Philadelphia area, Delaware and parts of Maryland, when employees at a Philadelphia store called 911 in April 2018 to say two black men were trespassing.

The men, who an attorney said were at the store for a business meeting, were arrested.

They were eventually let go after about eight hours in police custody, with a district attorney’s spokesman saying there was a “lack of evidence” of a crime.

A viral video of the incident drew national headlines and sparked a wave of protests.

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