Leona Coakley-Spring only recently opened her secondhand clothing store, Rags to Riches Consignment, a few months ago in an affluent area of Seattle, so she was shocked when a white man left a KKK robe at her store.
The man brought in the robe in a bag of dresses, and Coakley-Spring believes it was meant as a threat against her.
“‘You can’t be a black business owner in downtown Redmond, you can’t be here,’” she said. “I didn’t know what to do or what to say. It was just so horrifying.”
The owner’s son, Shane Coakley, took pictures of the robe and called police, who are taking the case seriously and have stepped up patrols around the store. They have also taken a composite sketch of the man, and they are reportedly investigating the incident as a hate crime.
“I can’t change the way I look,” Coakley-Spring said. “But it makes me feel like I’m not good enough. And that’s a bad feeling to have, that you’re not good enough.”
Still, Coakley-Spring says she isn’t going to close her store.
“We close the store, and they would win,” she told Fox13. “And I don’t want to give them any satisfaction.”