Make the best of unjust arrest in Carbondale

The recent arrest of Michael Francisco at the Carbondale City market reminds me of a similar incident involving a Starbucks Philadelphia-area store. On April 12, 2018, police contacted two black men seated at Starbucks and arrested them for not complying and and trespassing.

While there are differences in the two cases, I want to note similarities. All three were black. All three were told they were trespassing. All three were reported to be non-compliant and then arrested.

The men at the Starbucks were simply waiting for a friend. In Michael’s case, an employee at the City Market gas station complained Michael grimaced and pointed at her. As is the case for the Starbucks, I would like to see the charges against Micheal dropped and Kroger should issue an apology to Michael for his treatment.

In addition, in the Starbucks incident, CEO Kevin Johnson instituted a nationwide shutdown of Starbucks on the afternoon of May 29, 2018 to train the near 175,000 on unconscious bias. In the Philadelphia Starbucks incident, the men were arrested for being defiant, but the Philadelphia police Commissioner Richard Ross apologized.

I also would like to see Kroger’s CEO apologize to Micheal. I also would like to see Kroger institute unconscious bias training to all its employees. Let’s demand they drop the charges. Let’s demand Kroger and Carbondale Police institute better training for unconscious bias regarding people of color. If this happens then some good will come out of Michael’s unjust arrest.

Matt Roeser