However the footage of the incident, which has received almost nine million views so far, sparked criticism and calls for a boycott of the Starbucks coffee store.
Johnson insisted "Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling".
At the same time, he wrote: "I know our store managers and partners work hard to exceed our customers' expectations every day - which makes this very poor reflection on our company all the more painful".
The men were held in custody until 12:30 a.m. Friday, according to an attorney representing them pro bono, Lauren Wimmer, who declined to identify them.
Multiple witnesses recorded the incident on cellphones.
Yesterday, two black men were standing outside the Philadelphia Starbucks when they were arrested by the police. But why? What were they doing that necessitated that they leave? Mr Yaffe says. "Does anybody else think this is ridiculous?" he asks people nearby.
Yaffe allegedly arrived at the Starbucks just as the men he was meeting were being arrested for "defiant trespassing", according to police. They remain seated and calmly speak with the authorities.
A video was posted on Twitter, shows other passengers complained that the men didn't anything wrong.
"They're not free to leave".
"Did we set her up with the right protocol?" the official asked. They didn't resist arrest. The incident took place on Thursday but went viral after video showed the arrests this weekend. "These guys never raised their voices".
"This was a highly traumatizing experience for both of them, and hopefully they'll be able to recover", she said. In the video, there appear to be open tables for any potential waiting customers. Starbucks' CEO is apologizing, but many are still calling on the company to change its policies.
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He explained that the police had received a call from Starbucks accusing the men of "disturbance and trespass".
It read: "We apologize to the two individuals and our customers and are disappointed this led to an arrest".
Johnson said the company's practices and training led to a "bad outcome", and the reason for the call that brought police into the shop was incorrect.
Ross said the men were given several chances to leave, but they kept refusing. Also, they seem to have made some uninspired moves like giving up successful events (for example, Frappuccino Happy Hour) in favor of platform innovations. The department did not return comment Saturday asking what laws they suspected were being violated and if any administrative actions have been taken during the investigation.
Ross further said that, when officers arrived they politely asked the men to leave three times, informing them they were trespassing.
At heart, though, the managers said they make judgments about what might be a threat and what definitely isn't.
"What did they get called for?"
"These officers did absolutely nothing wrong". The Philly Police Department failed to find any evidence against them and released a video denying any "implicit bias" in the arrest.
"I can tell you candidly these officers did a service they were called to do", he said.