(CNN) Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross apologized Thursday to two black men who were arrested while waiting for a business meeting at Starbucks, saying he made the situation worse by initially defending his officers’ actions.

Ross’ apology came at a news conference on the same day the men — Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson — told ABC’s “Good Morning America” they were handcuffed within minutes of arriving at the store April 12 for a business meeting.
Ross said he was not aware that Starbucks allows people to sit in stores without making a purchase.
“I can appreciate, in light of the Starbucks policy and how well known it is to many, why these two men were appalled when asked to leave and for this reason, me, I apologize to them,” Ross told reporters.
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