When police go bad: Boycott Starbucks
June 15, 2001 12:30 PM   Subscribe

When police go bad: Boycott Starbucks A Seattle community’s response to what was seen as racially motivated use of excessive force by police was to boycott the company that is funding their own schools and projects. A strange story all around.
posted by Nothing (17 comments total)
ummmmm, ok, after reading the article, I still don't *totally* understand why they are boycotting Starbucks. But they feel they are doing right.

Now to this paragraph...

On May 31, Seattle police stopped Aaron Roberts for erratic driving in the Central Area. After stopping his car, Roberts, a neighborhood resident, drove his car forward, pulling one police officer with him, according to police accounts. A second police officer, fearing for his partner's life, fatally shot Roberts. Police later discovered that he was a convicted felon wanted for fleeing a work-release program.

If I'm reading that correctly, and I think I am, where do people see the "racially motivated use of excessive force"??? Maybe I'm reading more into it, but when it says, drove his car forward, pulling one police officer with him, doesn't this sound like a dangerous situation? I'd say that the use of deadly force was warranted due to the possible injury or death of the officer. My only information is from this article, so please excuse my ignorance if this has been covered before, or there's more information somewhere else that I missed, but I don't see the racial part.
posted by the_0ne at 12:45 PM on June 15, 2001

the_0ne: for more info, we did cover this before, as part of another thread.
posted by jpoulos at 1:03 PM on June 15, 2001

thanks jpoulos. checked out the thread and still have the same feelings, but it's been done, so no sense rehashing it all over again.
posted by the_0ne at 1:17 PM on June 15, 2001

WTF does Starbucks have to do with it? Was the guy hopped up on a triple latte?
posted by greensweater at 1:31 PM on June 15, 2001

No, Starbucks represents gentrification. The Man.
The feeling is this: Since the police and the city won't listen to us, then we'll put pressure on Starbucks. Since Starbucks represents big business, if we put pressure on them, then they in turn will put pressure on the mayor and the police.

On one hand, it seems stupid and misguided, but since corporations are replacing government anyway, these folks may be actually ahead of their time...or something.
posted by black8 at 1:44 PM on June 15, 2001

People will do what's effective. And in a free-market system, they know that its effective to bring a third party into it, even if they have nothing to do with it.

Its not right, but you'll probably see a lot more of it.
posted by brucec at 2:10 PM on June 15, 2001

If Corporations are replacing Government, when can we expect Starbucks to start sniping at pregnant women in Idaho?
posted by lileks at 2:16 PM on June 15, 2001

Black8: Starbuck's Corporate Sniper...hmmm.
posted by black8 at 2:35 PM on June 15, 2001

I've seen misguided, this takes the cake. A small group of people stop patronising a single Starbucks outlet and they think that's enough to move a multinational corporation to intervene on behalf of their political agenda with a local governmental body? These leaders have delusions of grandeur, at best.
posted by Dreama at 3:16 PM on June 15, 2001

I think if Starbucks doesn't go along with it they should file a class action civil rights suit.

Is this not the most ridiculous case of bandwagon jumping? It's almost as if they're feeling left out from the great US race riots of the last 11 years.
posted by crasspastor at 3:35 PM on June 15, 2001

I'm as anti-Starbuck's as the next guy. I've only bought a coffee once from them in four years, and that was largely out of desperation and weakness. I assure you that it won't happen again.

But either this protest needs to be completely clarified or a real reporter needs to cover the story and spell out the reasons behind it. The impression I get is something modeled after inadvertent obfuscation. And that's the most ineffectual way of protesting anything.
posted by ed at 4:12 PM on June 15, 2001

Race riots? I guess you're talking about Woodstock or that time that sports team beat that other sports team or something?

Considering how well Starbucks is doing, I don't know that the next guy is too anti-.

I thought the issue here was profiling. Cops didn't know the guy was a felon before they pulled him over. Lucky for the guy who shot him, he was.

"Racially motivated use of excessive force" may not be the best way to put it, but the fact is our society places a much greater value on the life of a white person than on any other life. This is demonstrated by among other things patterns of law enforcement practice which don't reflect patterns of criminal activity.

Whether the community activists are pressing the right buttons remains to be seen but it's not OK for the boys in blue to be playing judge jury and executioner out there. It's time to disarm cops and stop state-sponsored killing of all kinds.
posted by sudama at 8:16 PM on June 15, 2001

As a white, liberal if I'd dragged a cop in my car I'd expect to be shot. Indeed there have been many racially dubious killings, one in which I joined in protest was the Denver police killing of Ismael Mena. Also the killing of Amadou Diallo comes quickly to mind. You're right Sudama, it seems dark skinned and in fact all lower class citizens of all colors are not afforded the same type of justice that a fifty year old driving a brand new Jaguar enjoys.

I maintain, in this particular case, this happened to Aaron Roberts because he forcibly dragged a cop down the street.

I'd also concede your points if it were a white, upper class neighborhood Mr. Roberts was pulled over in. However, he was stopped in a largely African American district, by police, hired to protect that particular neighborhood.

Yes. . .I did write race riots. Again quickly to mind comes the most recent in Cincinatti and of course what ensued after the Rodney King verdict. The credences of either, I'm not at all calling into question. It's just I think a better battle could have been picked by the African American community here in Seattle.
posted by crasspastor at 9:02 PM on June 15, 2001

But. . .there are genuine reasons to boycott Starbucks. i.e. their own ignorance of brown people toiling for cents a day. Though, apparently things have changed or are changing. Though how much they are helping the cause remains uncertain.
posted by crasspastor at 9:35 PM on June 15, 2001

My genuine reason for boycotting Starbucks is cuz they charge too much for a Venti Cafe Mocha and Scones.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:31 PM on June 15, 2001

Some people can't even afford them.
posted by crasspastor at 10:47 PM on June 15, 2001

My own anti-Starbuck's vendetta involves three cool mom-and-pop coffeehouses I used to frequent being decimated when a Starbuck's opened up across the street from them.
posted by ed at 6:30 AM on June 16, 2001

« Older Communists infiltrating the Oakland, Calif....   |   Catholic Church offered solution to AIDS crisis? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments