Woman charged in midtown Starbucks vandalism

A 25-year-old woman is facing a mischief charge after a coffee shop in a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood was vandalized.

Police say they were called to the Starbucks location at Eglinton Avenue West and Bathurst Street on Thursday morning after reports someone had vandalized the storefront with posters and writing.

Images posted to social media show the words “blood on your hands,” “Starbucks kills,” and “stop killing babies” had been plastered across the front door of the shop.

Members of Toronto police’s hate crime unit arrested Skigh Johnson of Toronto and charged her with one count of mischief interfering with the enjoyment of property.

She is scheduled for a court appearance on January 11, 2024.

In a social media post that was later deleted but has since been reposted elsewhere, the accused admits to going to the Starbucks in question and putting up the posters.

“Last night did I commit what you may think is a crime? Maybe but it’s not a crime to me, I’m fighting for justice,” she says in the video post.

“I vandalized a Starbucks beside me and then I posed for the camera …I’m not a criminal, I’m fighting for peace.”

Police tell CityNews the investigation is ongoing but at this time the incident has not been classified as a hate crime.

Police add that if it is determined the incident was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate, then investigators will consult with the Crown and if they are charged and convicted of the offence, the Judge will take into consideration hate as an aggravating factor when imposing a sentence.

“This is the daily reality for Jews in Canada,” Michael Levitt, the President and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Cente, wrote on X while sharing images from the scene. “A big thank you to @TorontoPolice for their fast response and for all they’ve been doing to keep the Jewish community safe and protected in recent weeks.”

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