In a video testimonial released Saturday, Ross also accused Nelson and Robinson of being disrespectful to the officers and said they were both given several chances to leave, but refused. Robinson said they had water bottles with them and were waiting for a meeting.
"We were there for a real reason, a real deal that we were working on", Robinson said.
"And I just left it at that".
Nelson said they weren't questioned but were told to leave immediately. Next, she called the authorities.
Ross said he genuinely did not know that it was common practice for people to sit in a Starbucks without making any purchases, and that it's possible the officers who made the arrests didn't know either. Messaging is important and I failed miserably in this regard'.
"It didn't really hit me what was going on, that it was real, until I was being double-locked with my hands behind my back", he said.
In a separate interview with The Associated Press, Nelson said he was anxious about the situation spinning out of control and possibly dying.
"Anytime I'm encountered by cops, I can honestly say it's a thought that runs through my mind", Nelson revealed. My heart races when I am in my auto and see police approaching, because I know that innocence is no defense when you are black and "fit the description".
The AP reports that the men - who have been best friends since the fourth grade - had never been arrested before.
The store employee who called 911 is no longer with the company.
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Check out the full interview with Robin Roberts below.
"I want to make sure this situation doesn't happen again", Robinson said on GMA.
Now I'm a Philly girl and grew up right on those same rough streets where my two cousins were shot and killed, and every day saw police terrorize my neighborhood.
In the week since their arrests, the men have met with Starbucks' apologetic CEO and have started pushing for lasting change.
Starbucks will close more than 8,000 company-owned stores affecting 175,000 employees in the United States on May 29th to address implicit racial bias, following arrests of two black-male customers last week at its Center City store in Philadelphia.
Ross wasn't discussing the policy yet, but said it will be pushed out at a later date.
Ross also said, while it may be a well-known fact to Starbucks customers, he wasn't aware that people often spend hours in their establishments and aren't necessarily expected to make a purchase. "For starters, I should have said the officers acted within the scope of the law, and not that they didn't do anything wrong", he said.
Starbucks said Tuesday it will close all of its more than 8,000 company-owned USA stores on May 29 to educate employees about racial bias, in an attempt to prevent more acts of discrimination.
The men's lawyer, Stewart Cohen, says a retired federal judge is overseeing mediation with Starbucks. "What I want is for a young man or young men to not be traumatized by this; and instead, motivated and inspired". "Racism and biases that make simply breathing while black so unsafe will not just go away without our society committing more resources to discussion, education and training on implicit bias and racism".
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross initially defended his officers and how they handled the incident.
Ross said his department has already completed a new policy to guide officers on how to deal with similar situations, noting that no such policy existed before "because it is almost impossible to have a policy for every criminal or any other violation".