That pain was evident in the video, on the faces of Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson as they were led out of the store in handcuffs simply because they chose to wait for a friend without making a purchase.
The pain was loud and clear this past week as protesters marched and others shared their stories, voicing their anguish over a system that has, for too long, put people of color at greater risk simply because of the color of their skin.
And the pain was also sharply defined on the face of Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who courageously stood before microphones on Thursday and described how the anger expressed by many caused him to reflect further on the arrests, and on the larger context of race relations in our city and our society.
But what do we do with that pain? The Philadelphia I know is a diverse city that is welcoming to all. We cannot allow what happened inside the Starbucks to define us.
I am committed to helping all Philadelphians move toward a better understanding of all perspectives, and toward change that will ensure we never face this heartbreaking reality again. Here is some of what we are doing:
I am grateful to all of these departments for their leadership and quick action.
In the glare of an international spotlight, Philadelphia is hurting. But I am convinced that years from now, when we look back on what happened on April 12, 2018, we will see that race relations have since improved thanks to the many actions we're undertaking now. We will know that the actions led to dialogue, to reexamined perspectives, and to lasting improvements in how we as Philadelphians treat one another.
This pain can lead to progress.