Edmonds police said Wednesday they are continuing to investigate a report of racially motivated threats involving two African American teenagers that occurred Feb. 4 outside of Harvey’s Lounge, located in the 21100 block of Highway 99.
According to the teens’ mom, Darnesha Weary of Edmonds, the two were working on a school photography project when they were threatened by a person from Harvey’s who had a baseball bat and used the “n-word.”
Sgt. Josh McClure confirmed that part of the confrontation was caught on surveillance video, which shows two people coming out of the bar and yelling from the doorway. According to McClure, one of the people in the video had a bat at her side, then put it down. The incident lasted less than two minutes, ending when the teens drove off.
McClure said that police have been on the case since 9 p.m. Sunday night. “There has been no down time on it,” he said. “Our police department is made up of all races and religions…and it hits home for us as well,” he added.
Edmonds police have notified the FBI about the case, and once the Edmonds investigation is complete the FBI could take further action depending on the outcome, McClure said. “If we find there is a threat with a weapon in conjunction with a racially motivated incident, we are looking at a potential federal hate crime,” he said.
Edmonds police said that Harvey’s is cooperating fully with the investigation. Harvey’s released a statement on its Facebook page that included the following:
We absolutely do NOT tolerate racism. In the 7 plus years I have been here I don’t recall ever hearing a racial comment from costumers or employee. I can’t say it has never happened, I just haven’t witnessed it. As the officer just told me: “Please wait till the the police report is final and the facts will be clear”.
Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling commented about the matter during Tuesday night’s city council meeting, saying that Edmonds “is an open and welcoming community that does not tolerate the type of repugnant behavior alleged in this incident. Upon conclusion of the police department investigation, if the allegations are borne out and criminal charges are warranted, I fully expect the legal prosecution of this matter will be carried out to the full extent of the law and any perpetrators will be brought to justice,” Earling said.