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.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

King County could be in Phase 2 in two weeks

The county is also hoping the state lets them reopen several businesses by Friday.

Federal Way raises pride flag for first time in city history

Flag will fly above City Hall for the entire month of June.

Multiple Federal Way stores hit by looters

Rapid response by police resulted in minimal loss for businesses on Sunday night, police chief says.

Looters break into 26 Tukwila businesses Sunday night; 9 arrests made

‘What happened in Tukwila was not a protest, it was coordinated looting,’ police say

Nearly 200 people gathered at the intersection of Pacific Highway South and South 320th Street on Sunday to protest the death of George Floyd. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
Motorcyclist injures baby, two women at Sunday protest in Federal Way

All three victims were treated for minor injuries and transported to St. Francis Hospital as a precautionary measure, fire official says.

Black smoke rises from Westlake Center in Seattle as the Saturday afternoon protests result in several car fires and the looting of several downtown businesses on May 30. Courtesy photo
Federal Way police respond to Seattle protests

The responding officers are members of the multi-agency Valley Civil Disturbance Unit, officials say.

Kabal Gill, owner of East India Grill in Federal Way, wears gloves to hand over take-out orders at his restaurant on March 23. File photo
New guidelines for Phase 2 reopenings in King County

All workers will need to wear masks as restaurants, retail shops and other businesses reopen.

This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC’s laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. Courtesy photo
Inslee wants nursing home residents and staff tested by June 12

Governor says state will pay for test kits and personal protective equipment.

Stock image
Campgrounds to reopen in 22 Washington counties

Campgrounds in counties actively in Phase 2 of the reopening plan will begin to welcome visitors June 1, state says.

Most Read