CHICAGO — A Woodlawn coffee shop is facing criticism from customers and residents after black children were asked to leave the shop Friday and police were called on one of their moms, who confronted the owner.
Part of the incident was recorded by Kofi Ademola, an activist who organizes against police brutality and racial injustice, when he happened upon the scene at Robust Coffee, 6300 S. Woodlawn Ave.
The video shows Victoria, a mom of one of the children who was told to leave Robust, standing outside the shop talking about her son being kicked out and police being called when she tried to talk to Robust’s staff about what happened. The video has been seen thousands of times, with some people saying they’ll now refuse to buy from Robust because they think the incident was racist.
But the restaurant’s owner, Jake Sapstein, said the kids were kicked out because some had been stealing and his employees felt unsafe, not because the kids are black.
“They’re just looking to sensationalize something,” Sapstein said. “The students that came in that were stealing were African American; however, the staff that was here [and called police] was also entirely African American. It doesn’t really apply in any way.”