Holly Hylton managed the Center City Philadelphia store for a year and ‘mutually parted ways’ with the coffee chain after sparking a race row
The Starbucks manager who called the police on two black customers for trespassing previously branded customers who didn’t speak English ‘rude’.
Holly Hylton managed the Center City Philadelphia store for a year and ‘mutually parted ways’ with the coffee chain after sparking a race row.
The 31-year-old asked the pair to leave after refusing to let them use the bathroom without buying anything, and called 911 when they stayed.
Video of the men, who were waiting for a friend, being dragged out in handcuffs sparked protests and forced the Starbucks chief executive to apologise.
Ms Hylton, a career hospitality manager, previously worked at Chipotle in 2009 and Smashburger in 2013, according to her social media.
The Philadelphia Starbucks manager who called 911 on two black men last week (pictured above being arrested) no longer works with the company, a spokesperson revealed on Monday
She hails from Dayton, Ohio, and studied at Sinclair Community College before moving to Philadelphia in 2015, and is at least somewhat fluent in Spanish.
In 2014 a former co-worker wrote in a Facebook post that she wished Ms Hylton was still in the store to help her translate for customers who only spoke Spanish.
Ms Hylton replied: ‘Ugggghhh I wish I was there! I took an order the other day in Spanish. We only get Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic speakers here. Rude!’
The manager, who did not reply to a message from MailOnline, earlier claimed loitering was an ongoing issue in the Philadelphia Starbucks.
She told AppleNews.com on Saturday that one person had even chased her round the shop after she asked them to leave.
Ms Hylton, a career hospitality manager, previously worked at Chipotle in 2009 and Smashburger in 2013, according to her social media
Ms Hylton’s business card posted on her now-deleted social media page
Ms Hylton previously called customers who didn’t speak English ‘rude’ in a Facebook post at a previous fast-food job
Ms Hylton blamed what she claimed was a corporate policy at Center City Philadelphia locations which prohibits excessive loitering in their stores.
She told the news outlet management has the discretion to ensure the policy is enforced – even if that means calling in the cops.
She also revealed that she doesn’t even tell the customers when she’s calling the police.
Ms Hylton reportedly refused to say whether it was normal practice for managers or employees to call the police when they found customers loitering.
A representative for Starbucks said on Monday that she had left the coffee chain ‘while there is an internal review pending.’
The two men, who had not made a purchase, were handcuffed and arrested for trespassing on Thursday after the Philadelphia store manager called 911 and reported them for refusing to leave.
Police officers monitor activity outside as protesters demonstrate inside the Starbucks store where the two men were arrested last Thursday
Rev. Gregory Holston, 56, (2nd R) and other Interfaith clergy leaders stage a sit-in at the Center City Starbucks
Interfaith clergy leaders stage a sit-in at the Center City Starbucks, where two black men were arrested, in Philadelphia
Police later released the two men and they were not charged.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson arrived in Philadelphia this weekend after video of the arrests gained traction online and activists started protesting at the store.
Johnson met with the two men on Monday to apologize to them face-to-face.
He added that Starbucks wanted to add training for store managers on ‘unconscious bias’ after calling the incident ‘reprehensible’.
‘I’d like to have a dialogue with them and the opportunity to listen to them with compassion and empathy through the experience they went through,’ he said.
Johnson said it was ‘completely inappropriate to engage the police’.
The incident is a major blow to Starbucks’ image, since the company has promoted its coffee shops as neighborhood hangouts where anyone is welcome.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, who is currently in Philadelphia, said on Monday that he hoped to meet with the two men in the next couple of days and apologize to them face-to-face
Members of POWER Interfaith movement stage a sit-in inside Starbucks in protest over the incident
A protester holds up a sign which reads ‘White people, we got work 2 do’ on Monday
After footage of the arrests spread online, the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks trended on Twitter.
About two dozen protesters took over the Philadelphia shop on Monday, chanting slogans like, ‘A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black.’
A Starbucks regional vice president who attempted to talk to the protesters was shouted down.
Officials have said police officers were told the men had asked to use the store’s restroom but were denied because they hadn’t bought anything and they refused to leave.
Video shows several police talking quietly with two black men seated at a table. After a few minutes, officers handcuff the men and lead them outside as other customers say they weren’t doing anything wrong.
A white man identified as real estate developer Andrew Yaffe arrives and tells the officers the two men were waiting for him. An officer says the men were not complying and were being arrested for trespassing.
Minister Rodney Muhammad, 65, speaks on the phone after attending a protest with fellow Interfaith clergy leaders
Protestors assemble outside the Center City Starbucks, where two black men were arrested, in Philadelphia
Rev. Gregory Holston, 56, and other interfaith clergy leaders march from the Center City Starbucks
‘Why would they be asked to leave?’ Yaffe says. ‘Does anybody else think this is ridiculous? It’s absolute discrimination.’
A woman can be heard in the video saying ‘they didn’t do anything, I saw the entire thing.’
Police haven’t released the names of the men, who were later released after the district attorney’s office said there was lack of evidence that a crime had been committed.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who is black, defended the arrests in a video statement on Saturday.
Ross said the officers ‘did absolutely nothing wrong’ and were professional in their conduct toward the individuals but ‘got the opposite back.’
Johnson said the company will ensure that employee guidelines on when the police should be called will be clarified.
A Starbucks regional vice president, Camille Hymes, (center) who attempted to talk to the protesters was shouted down on Sunday
Local Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif, left, stands inside the Starbucks on Sunday demanding that the manager be fired
Asked if the incident was a case of racism, Johnson said: ‘Starbucks was built around the concept of a third place where we create a warm and welcoming environment for all customers. What I do know is that did not happen in this instance. And that is what we’re focused on.’
Seattle-based Starbucks had posted a statement on Twitter over the weekend about the arrests, followed by an apology from Johnson.
‘Every company makes mistakes, but great companies are the ones that learn from those mistakes and take appropriate action,’ Johnson said Monday. ‘And that’s exactly what I intend to do. We’re reviewing all aspects of this.’
Criminal defense attorney Lauren Wimmer, who is representing the two men, said that race clearly played a role in the incident.
‘I would love to hear the 911 call on this case,’ Wimmer told NBC Nightly News on Sunday.
‘Can you imagine the 911 call if it was ‘There’s two white women sitting here. One of them asked to used the bathroom and she didn’t order anything, come quick!’,’ she said.
Wimmer declined to identify the two men.
‘Two young black men, who were simply waiting to be joined by a friend, were blatantly discriminated against based on their race. Not only is this inexcusable, it’s illegal,’ Wimmer said in a statement.