Suspected arsonist targets Seattle-area Black-owned business with Molotov cocktails: reports

A Black-owned coffee shop in Washington state was targeted by at least one alleged arsonist who threw Molotov cocktails at the building just one day before it was supposed to open for business, according to reports and officials.

The alleged arsonist or arsonists threw “several” Molotov cocktails or similar incendiary devices at the rear wall of Black Coffee Northwest, roughly 12 miles north of Seattle, around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ryan Abbott told the Seattle Times.

Black Coffee Northwest is described on its Facebook page as “a locally owned Black business” that serves as a cafe and “community hub.”

Shoreline Fire Department shared photographs of what it described as an intentionally set structure fire at the building, which used to house One Cup Coffee and is also currently home to one of the Bethany Community Church’s offices. The fire was extinguished before the department arrived.

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A sheriff’s office spokesperson could not immediately be reached for confirmation of the additional details.

Black Coffee Northwest later announced it would be postponing its originally scheduled opening, which was slated for Thursday, according to the Times.

The shop has since made several related posts on its Facebook page, as well as images and messages in support of Black-owned businesses and the Black Lives Matter movement. A fundraising video was later posted on the business’ Facebook and YouTube pages.

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Investigators are reviewing video footage for any clear images of people potentially involved, the fire department wrote.

Anyone who believes they have information related to the arson is asked to call the King County Arson Investigator’s non-emergency line at (206) 263-2070.

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