The protesters moved to the front counter shortly after 7 a.m. Monday and chanted "Starbucks coffee is anti-black" and "We are gonna shut you down".
However, Johnson pushed back on calls to fire the store manager, saying the blame "is misplaced" and repeatedly emphasizing that he was the one to be held accountable.
The two men arrested last week broke the rules of that space by not buying coffee.
"I'm writing this evening to convey three things", said Johnson. Secondly, I thought about what he must feel because my son is the kid that gets up on Saturday mornings and goes to Starbucks. The chief executive officer of Starbucks is in Philadelphia to have a meeting with Mayor Jim Kenney and is hoping to deliver a face-to-face apology to the two men. "Unless someone comes forward with something more than I know now, it doesn't appear that they did anything wrong at all. Someone tell me what they did!" "This is personal and I have to do something here". That's one reason the arrest of two black men who were sitting in a Starbucks struck a nerve for so many: They were doing exactly what people do at most any of the chain's 28,000 stores worldwide.
Last week, Mark Zuckerberg was called onto the congressional carpet to explain how his company compromised the privacy of millions of people and may have unwittingly distorted the last presidential election.
A bystander captured the scene with a cellphone camera, and the trespass arrest went viral on social media soon becoming conflated to an incident of racial discrimination, with comments ranging from anecdotal to speculative that whites would not have been booted from the shop for failing to become a customer.
Trump now backs marijuana 'states rights' bill, senator says
Gardner and the Department of Justice have been in discussions for months to get the holds lifted. Thirty states have enacted statutes regulating the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
A meeting with the Philadelphia Police Department leadership to discuss implicit bias training, de-escalation techniques and the use of body cameras. The newspaper described a "mutual" decision between the manager and the company. "There are instances where calling the police would be an appropriate action: if there is a threat, a disturbance or something creating a unsafe situation, then that is an appropriate place for one of our store partners to call the police".
Both executives said the current company guidelines and procedures will be evaluated and updated.
"We stand not only with the two black men who were wrongfully detained but also with the countless people of color whose very existence continues to be daily undervalued and overpoliced - often without the benefit of a running camera", the office said in a statement Monday.
It also led Johnson to release an apology, calling the arrest a "disheartening situation" that led to a "reprehensible outcome".
Asked if the incident was a case of racism, Johnson responded: "Starbucks was built around the concept of a third place where we create a warm and welcoming environment for all customers". On Twitter, several black men and women weighed in and opened up about their own anxieties about spending time in public places like Starbucks. He was in Philadelphia on Monday when he conducted the interview on "Good Morning America".
The manager who called 911 has left the store pending an investigation by Starbucks, a spokeswoman for the company said.