A screenshot from a video posted by Shar Bennett shows hateful graffiti tagged on a Starbucks drive-thru sign at Pacific Highway S and S 288th Street. Courtesy photo

A screenshot from a video posted by Shar Bennett shows hateful graffiti tagged on a Starbucks drive-thru sign at Pacific Highway S and S 288th Street. Courtesy photo

Racist graffiti on Starbucks sign in Federal Way stirs outrage

Starbucks customer outraged at “whites only” graffiti spray-painted under the drive-thru sign; company “acted quickly to remove” graffiti.

Racist graffiti-tagged signs at a Federal Way Starbucks evoked strong reactions from community members on Thursday morning.

Under the Starbucks drive-thru sign, “whites only” was spray-painted in white at the location on Pacific Highway South and South 288th Street.

Shar Bennett, a Federal Way resident, posted a video to her Facebook of the graffiti, and a second video with her reaction.

Bennett said she parked and went to the coffee shop’s window to report the graffiti. Inside, employees told her the hateful words had been cleaned off. Although Bennett said, clearly they had not removed all of the messages. A Starbucks spokesperson confimed the store had been tagged multiple times.

The graffiti made Bennett feel “disgusted and sad and angry,” she said.

“I just wanted to say to Starbucks,” Bennett said in the video. “In my opinion, the customers, the coffee orders, should stop in that moment because there’s nothing more important than getting that s**t off your sign.”

Officers responded to the Starbucks and contacted employees who referred them to an offsite regional representative, said Federal Way police Cmdr. Kurt Schwan.

At that point in the afternoon, the graffiti had already been removed and no report had been made by the business, he said.

“When contacted, the representative reported a pentagram had been drawn on one of the signs and the words ‘whites only’ written next to it,” Schwan said, adding that a police report was taken to document the incident.

There is no suspect information at this time. The graffiti has since been covered.

“This was a reprehensible act of vandalism and we acted quickly to remove it once it was discovered,” said Sara Autio, a spokesperson for Starbucks. “Hatred and discrimination, of any kind, are not welcome in our stores.”


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