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Starbucks changes bathroom policy following racial firestorm

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Starbucks apologized after two African-American men are arrested at one of its Philadelphia locations. The arrest, which was captured on video that has since gone viral, sparked accusations of discrimination and racial profiling. (File Photo)

WASHINGTON — Starbucks is opening its bathrooms to everyone regardless of whether they’ve bought anything following the arrest last month of two African American men at one of its coffee shops in Philadelphia.

Chairman Howard Schultz says he doesn’t want the company to become a public bathroom, but feels employees can make the “right decision a hundred percent of the time,” if that choice is removed at the store level.

One of the men arrested on April 12 was denied use of a bathroom before sitting down to await a business meeting. He and his business partner were arrested minutes later.

Schultz, speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington, said Starbucks had a “loose policy” on bathroom use, The Washington, The Seattle Times, and other media outlets reported.

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