SEATTLE, WA– A sign at a popular ice cream shop in Seattle is sending a message loud and clear to its local police officers. Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream shop on Capitol Hill put up a sign telling police officers, if you’re armed, you are not welcome inside our business.
The sign reads:
“Police Officers: Molly Moon’s is a gun-free zone. Please do not come inside if you are wearing a firearm. No guns allowed inside.”
Molly Moon Neitzel, owner and founder of the popular local ice cream chain said it was her decision to put up the sign.
She said she’s had signs in her shops for the last five years saying they are “gun-free zones,” but the new sign that she recently posted is directed solely at the police.
Neitzel has only posted the sign at the Capitol Hill shop, not at any of her other eight locations. In those locations, she said police officers are not banned.
Since taking credit for the sign, Neitzel says she has received threats on social media and when asked if she’s anti-police, here is how she answered:
“I am anti the current police system, yeah, I think we need major reform.”
Sign posted at Molly Moon's Ice Cream near @SeattlePD East Precinct and now defunct #CHOP zone. "Police Officers: Molly Moon's is a gun free zone. Please do not come inside if you are wearing a firearm." pic.twitter.com/6MCerPTkzY
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) July 8, 2020
According to Neitzel, the sign was in response to an incident in which a businessman from California came into the Capitol Hill Ice Cream Shop on Friday and ordered $500 worth of ice cream specifically for local cops that have been patrolling the area.
Once the ice cream was ordered, the customer told officers to pick up the ice cream from the shop.
This resulted in a sudden influx of police coming into the shop, which put the staff, who were weary of the presence of so many armed officers, in an “uncomfortable position.”
The situation also led to comments on social media, which led people to believe that Molly Moon’s had given out free ice cream to cops. Neitzel says that was not the case, and wanted to make sure that was well known, given her anti-police stance.
In response, Neitzel said that she decided to put up the sign as a way to alert the police that the store is a “gun-free zone.”
The new sign is not meant to establish a new policy or an outright ban on law enforcement in the store:
“If they want to come into my shop and buy ice cream without a gun, they are welcome.”
We all know how realistic that would be for officers on patrol.
Neitzel said in a statement:
“We had a few hundred come in packing their guns and it was making my employees feel uncomfortable.”
In an Instrgram message on Tuesday, Neitzel noted the the company supports both Black Lives Matter movement and “divesting funding from the police department”:
“We do not ever want to put our employees in a confrontational situation of having to ask police officers to leave, especially our BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) employees.”
The Instagram post has since been made unavailable for the public to view.
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A customer, Carl Smith, heard about the sign and showed up almost immediately to give her a hug and drop $500 of his own money on ice cream.
“Anyone who comes to Molly Moon’s today, ice cream is on me. I just really support what she’s doing.”
Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, had a response of his own:
“You know we’re human beings. I don’t think the reasonable community in the city of Seattle is saying we allow police but they can’t be armed.”
Sloan denounced the sign as “unreasonable activism” amid calls to defund the police. He said:
“I feel it’s divisive rhetoric. I view it as political pandering. It’s more divisiveness at a time when we need more unity.
“Have a conversation and maybe we can enjoy ice cream at your great business, but we’re going to do it while armed.”
Saying this to any one group “sending a loud and clear message: (fill in group name) aren’t welcome.” Is 100% blatant hate and if it was a race… would be out of business in a heartbeat…
— Bryan McNally 🇺🇸 (@BryanDMcNally) July 9, 2020
The Washington State Fraternal Order of Police Marco Monteblanco also wrote a letter to Neitzel, saying, in part:
“While we recognize the tension between police and some parts of the community in Seattle, we want to point out that the officers entering your establishment in no way intended to make anyone inside feel uncomfortable. They were there for one purpose: Ice cream.
“Please understand that statements such as yours are harmful to the relationship between peace officers and the community as we work to attempt to heal the divide.
“e want to assure you that should you need police services, officers will not hesitate to respond to assist you, your employees, or your patrons despite this incident. We are here to protect and to serve, and that’s exactly what we will do if we are called.”
Neitzel told reporters:
“I’m going to be a business person and an activists that continues to speak truth as I see it.”
As for how this policy will be enforced, she said it’s up to each worker, but she’s hoping the sign will make it so that they don’t have to.
Don’t worry, Molly- you won’t have to worry about police doing business with your shop. In fact, many people who aren’t police have taken to social media to post their disagreement with the activism that Molly has decided to use her business for.
One Twitter user said:
“Scratch Molly’s off the list.”
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