We finally know who at least one of the arrestees is in the infamous Starbucks arrest situation. His name is Rashon Nelson and he’s a member of Omega Psi Phi, which as you know, is a member of Divine Nine group of historically Black fraternities and sororities.
Watch new, full video of the Starbucks arrest:
According to the Grio, Nelson, who reportedly works in commercial real estate, attended Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania from 2013-2017 as a Finance Major and is a member of the Alpha Eta chapter of Omega Psi Phi.
Omega Psi Phi issued a statement in support:
— Omega Psi Phi (@OfficialOPPF) April 16, 2018
According to the Grio, fraternity members Ricky Smiley and lawyer Benjamin Crump have both issued statements of support:
In his statement, exclusively provided to theGrio, Crump details how Nelson handled the situation:
“As shameful as the actions of the Starbucks employees were, these two young men conducted themselves with dignity and class. The character they demonstrated by remaining respectful even as they were being disrespected — for no reason other than the color of their skin — did them true credit. We should champion these young brothers for the way they handled themselves, even though the system tried to marginalize them and ascribe to them criminal intent. This is the hard reality of being black in America. Implicit bias dictates how people of color are treated and erodes their freedoms as they exercise their rights as citizens.
I’m very proud that one of these men, Rashon Nelson, is a member of my fraternity and lived by the values we learned as brothers of Omega Psi Phi – that our actions help us become bridge-builders for generations to come. We should teach young people to choose their actions and respond to prejudice in the way Gandhi exercised civil disobedience toward injustice and the way Dr. King showed the path to non-violence. These two young men demonstrated similar laudable leadership.”
Rickey Smiley said:
“If I could speak to him right now, I would congratulate him on using discretion. He did it the right way. He was calm and reminded me of when people like Dr. King were arrested back in the Civil Rights movement,” said Smiley.
“There is also a lesson to be learned here. Stay silent first and then fight later in court because these people need to be held accountable in what they do and the way they treat people.
Several police officers came in there and surrounded these young Black men and somebody has to pay for that. I would also encourage my frat brother to sue the Philadelphia police department because I think they over reacted. They are just as much to blame as the manager who called the police. That person should be fired and not just moved to another store. It should be added to that person’s employment record that they were fired because of racial profiling.”
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