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Dontre Hamilton's family on Starbucks training: 'You can't untrain hate'

Posted at 11:16 PM, Apr 17, 2018

Starbucks will take a time-out to work on re-training it's workers on racial bias, but the family of the man killed outside a Starbucks in Milwaukee Wisconsin was critical of the coffee company's decision.

Starbucks will close all 8,000 stores for a day on May 29 after a Starbucks worker in Philadelphia called police accusing two black men of loitering in the store. Their arrest is now a viral video.

But the family of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot and killed after a Starbucks employee called the police on him for sleeping on a bench, says it is a familiar over-reaction by someone who works for Starbucks.

"We feel Starbucks was partly responsible for calling on an individual who wasn't bothering anyone that day in this park," said Nate Hamilton, the brother of Dontre Hamilton.

After Dontre Hamilton's death on April 30, 2014, there were protests both inside and outside the Starbucks. The then Starbucks CEO met with the Hamilton family privately, they say to talk about race and Starbucks.

"They should have started retraining their employees then," said Nate Hamilton.

Others in Milwaukee agree Starbucks is not the only company that needs to work on racial profiling.

"If I go somewhere and I am not the dominant color, to put it the roughest way possible, then someone's looking, double checking," said northwest side resident Patrice Green.

Cornelius McClendon and Lindzy Crawford say as Marquette students they had to be careful how they acted and it hasn't changed.

"Whether I was at a department store, whether I was walking down the street, we kind of set our own rules where we don't wear hoodies, you don't wear sweatpants. You never want to fit the profile because the profile is fairly vague," said McClendon.

But Dontre Hamilton's mom is not optimistic retraining is the answer.

"No one can be trained to not have that particular type of racism embedded in them. That's a waste of time. You can't untrain hate," said Maria Hamilton.