Two black men arrested for not buying anything at Starbucks

Does Starbucks need to put up signs stating that its limited seating is for paying customers?

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross is defending the actions of his police officers after they arrested two black men for refusing to leave a Starbucks after not buying anything. From CNN:

The employees told officers the two men wanted to use the restroom but were told the facilities are only for paying customers. The Starbucks employees then asked the men to leave, but they refused, Ross says.

Officers responded and asked the men three times to “politely to leave the location because they were being asked to leave by employees because they were trespassing.” When the men again refused to leave, they were arrested “without incident,” Ross says.

The men were taken to a police station and released when it became clear Starbucks didn’t want to press charges.

Driving for Uber and Lyft, I often find myself sitting around waiting for a ride request. I try to stay in my car parked in a parking lot. McDonald’s is a favorite choice of mine to wait for a ride request. Sometimes I go through the drive-through and get a coffee, sometimes I don’t.

I’ve never been asked to leave while just sitting in my car in the parking lot playing Candy Crush or reading a book, but if I was, I’d like to believe I would do exactly what was asked and leave.

That’s the thing. I cannot imagine being asked to leave by someone from McDonald’s and not doing what they asked. I really cannot imagine being asked to leave by members of law enforcement and not doing what they asked. Police carry guns. I always try to do what people with guns ask me to do.

I’ve never walked into a Starbucks and just sat down and not bought anything. I guess I’ve always thought it was an unspoken agreed rule of living in a civilized society that you buy something before sitting down in Starbucks. Does Starbucks need to put up signs stating that its limited seating is for paying customers? I guess they do.

A big part of this story is the two men were waiting for a third man to join them. Did the two men who were arrested tell anyone at Starbucks they were waiting for someone to join their party?

I’m not sure that the two men were black had anything to do with the incident. Then again, the two black men were asked three times to leave Starbucks by the police and they refused all three times. I’ve been told by groups like Black Lives Matter the police will murder black men without provocation and when they do commit murder, they are not held legally responsible. Because of this fact, black men are fearful of the police. It doesn’t seem these two men at Starbucks were at all fearful of the police. If they were, they would have done what they were asked.

This incident could have been easily avoided. Even if they didn’t like coffee, they could have bought a $2 bottled water or a $5 cookie. If I didn’t know better, I’d assume the two men wanted to be arrested. That would just be silly, right?

Update

Protesters have been pouncing on Starbucks. The guy with the megaphone is so woke, looking directly at him is like staring into the Sun.

Authorities warned well ahead of time about Nikolas Cruz

Facts are beginning to emerge about mass murderer Nikolas Cruz and how law enforcement had ample warning that the man posed a risk to society, yet did nothing to stop him.

Cruz posted a comment on YouTube saying, “Im [sic] going to be a professional school shooter.” The man who operates the YouTube channel, Ben Bennight, took a screenshot of the comment and notified YouTube. He also contacted his local FBI field office. FBI agents were unable to connect the comment to an individual even though it was posted by a user using a “nikolas cruz” Google account. Google owns YouTube.

Ben Bennight, American hero. Just because the FBI and YouTube failed to act on his information does not make him less of a hero.

This goes beyond incompetence, not only with the FBI but with YouTube. As soon as they were alerted by Ben Bennight, they should have retrieved all relative information about the user, IP address, MAC address, past comment history, email address, etc, and contacted both the FBI and the user’s local law enforcement. Ben Bennight shouldn’t have had to contact his local FBI field office. YouTube should have already done it.

Ben Bennight did everything right. Everyone else? They did everything wrong.

The police were even more incompetent than the FBI and YouTube. There are 30 incident reports going back to 2011 of their dealings with Nikolas Cruz.

From CNN:

The incident reports, which are as recent as September 2016, describe Cruz as suffering from mental illness and being “emotionally handicapped,” and being on behavioral medication. One notes, “He has mentioned in the past that he would like to purchase a firearm.”

He was still allowed to purchase an AR-15. I hate to sound like a Republican, but we don’t need more gun laws, we just need the authorities to do their jobs.

AR-15 assault weapon.

If the police properly performed their sworn duties, maybe people wouldn’t feel the need to arm themselves. Who knows, if we could count on the police to actually serve and protect, maybe we wouldn’t feel the need to own guns.

The first time someone online threatened to kill me, I didn’t know what to do. This was years ago. I knew the person’s name and where they lived. I picked up the phone and called my local police department. I explained the situation. The officer wanted me to come in and fill out a report. He said then if someone did kill me, they would know where to look.

Someone online threatens to kill you? Call your local police. If nothing else, you’ll get a good laugh and it will help break up the tension you might be feeling.

I decided not to go the police department and fill out that report. I decided to go a different route.

We have a police incompetence problem

On July 5th, two Baton Rouge police officers shot and killed Alton Sterling who was selling dvds in front of a convenience store. Cellphone video captured the incident. Mr. Sterling was black. The two officers who killed him seem to be white.

It’s pretty clear from watching the videos that the two cops aren’t good police officers. They looked incompetent while trying to subdue Alton Sterling, especially considering that he didn’t seem to be resisting. When one of the officers discovered that Mr. Sterling had a gun in his pocket, he sounded panicked.

The following day, a police officer in Minnesota shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop over a broken tail light. Mr. Castile was black while the cop who killed him appears to be white.

The horrific incident’s aftermath was recorded on video by Mr. Castile’s fiancé and posted live on Facebook. It’s clear from watching the video that Mr. Castile did nothing to call for getting shot. The officer asked for Mr. Castile’s license and registration. As he was reaching for his wallet, he told the officer he had a gun, but had a license to carry. Upon hearing this the officer ordered him to put his hands up. As Mr. Castile tried to comply follow this order, the cop shot him three times.

Much like the Alton Sterling shooting the previous day, this looked to be an example of gross police incompetence.

When the cop thought Mr. Castile might be a threat because of the fact he told the officer he had a gun, instead of ordering him out of the car with his hands up, he pumped three rounds into him as he sat behind the wheel. Next to Mr. Castile was his fiancé and in the backseat was his fiancé’s four-year old daughter.

Immediately after the shootings, activists began proclaiming that these two killings happened because of racism on the part of the cops. Marches and protests were held demanding justice, even though there was no evidence justice would not be served. Immediately after both shootings, it was announced the U.S. Justice Department would conduct the investigations, not the local police departments.

Thursday evening at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, Micah X. Johnson shot 14 people including 12 police officers, killing five.

Racist terrorist Micah X Johnson.
Racist terrorist Micah X Johnson.

Before killing Mr. Johnson with a robot, the police say he told them he was upset about Black Lives Matter and wanted to kill white people, especially white cops.

Mr. Johnson’s Facebook page showed that not only was he a supporter of Black Lives Matter, but also the New Black Panther Party.

Although it’s impossible to know at this point if the cops who killed Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile are racists, it’s obvious Micah X. Johnson was. With that said, the Black Lives Matter group is still organizing marches and protests demanding justice, as though justice is like a microwave pizza, something quick and cheap.

Police brutality isn’t a black problem, it’s a people problem. Contrary to the statements made by a guy who pretends to be a doctor on Grey’s Anatomy, more white people are killed every year by police than black people.

The real problem isn’t race, it’s police incompetence. We have the largest police force in the world. Our police are becoming more and more militarized. Too many people are becoming cops who shouldn’t be mall security guards, let alone police officers sworn to serve and to protect. Each individual police force has its own training program not based on national guidance or procedures. Whether officers are even remembering any of their training, let alone employing it properly in the field, is really a mystery.

The cops who killed Alton Sterling and Philando Castile sure didn’t look like they were following any type of proper police procedure. They looked like idiots who have no business being cops.

Bryton Mellott did nothing wrong

Bryton Mellott, 22, of Urbana, Illinois, burned an American flag and posted a photo of the act to his Facebook page. People reacting to the photo sent him death threats and reportedly even made threats against him employer, Walmart.

Police reviewed the photo Mr. Mellott posted on Facebook. They then went to Walmart to investigate the threats and to speak to Mr. Mellott. Because he declined to remove the Facebook post to “deescalate” the situation, the police arrested him.

They used a 2013 Illinois flag desecration law as grounds for the arrest.

Bryson Mellott's mug shot.
Bryson Mellott’s mug shot

Mellott was then released from custody after State’s Attorney Julia Rietz declined to file charges. She questioned the validity of the 2013 Illinois desecration law, pointing out that burning a flag is protected free speech.

Of course it is.

Some people want to treat the flag like an Islamist treats the Quran. If you value the flag than you should value the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment. If you don’t support Mr. Mellott’s right to free speech, even if you find how he expressed himself repulsive than you’ve helped make the flag meaningless.

Personally, I’m not a fan of flag burning. That’s why I choose not to do it. I have an American Flag displayed 24 hours a day in from of my home. I value the American flag because of what it represents.

The police really screwed up. They arrested Mr. Mellott because he would not do what they asked him to do, to remove the image from Facebook. They were wrong to ask him to remove the post and they were wrong to arrest him. They not only arrested him, they even published his personal information online, including his home address. What’s worse than getting online death threats? Having your local police then publish your home address.

My guess is that this will result in a civil rights lawsuit, a lawsuit Mr. Mellott will surely win. Good for him.

If the police were in the mood to arrest anyone, they should have arrested the people making threats against Mr. Mellott and his employer. Those people are the criminals, not Mr. Mellott. That might take some real police work. I guess it’s just easier to arrest some dumb unpatriotic kid working at Walmart.

Showing police the middle finger is free speech

The United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has handed down a ruling that protects the act of flipping off police as constitutionally protected free speech. So not only did the founding fathers want us to be able to own AK-47’s and M-16’s, they also wanted us to be able to flip off the police. Who knew?

The guys who wrote the Constitution were a wacky bunch of guys.

The case that prompted this ruling involved John Swartz, a New York man arrested in 2006 for flipping off a cop using a radar gun at an upstate New York intersection. The police followed the car Swartz was a passenger in and after questioning him, arrested him for disorderly conduct. The charge was later dropped. Swartz then filed a civil rights lawsuit.

Personally, I think flipping the bird to anyone with a gun is a really bad idea, but that’s just me.