DETROIT, MI – A Detroit ice cream shop must be doing great business if it can afford to alienate 2,200 potential customers with a sarcastic social media post and an insulting attitude.
Cold Truth Soft Serve, at 4240 Cass Avenue, said it will deny service to police officers if they are wearing tactical body armor.
— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) July 1, 2022
The social media message that kicked off a storm came from the shop’s owner, Tim Mahoney, who posted a photo on Instagram of a police cruiser parked in front of his shop with the caption:
“We can tolerate the parking however you please but we will not serve anyone wearing body armor.”
“There are times when police units come through and are outfitted in heavy–duty tactical gear, it is disturbing and unsettling for some of the families in our space.
“In the last 24 hours, It has come to my attention that the City of Detroit outfits EMS and FIRE with armor, and this is not my concern. It’s the heavy-duty military dress that I’m hoping the city can find a way to minimize in our public spaces.”
Detroit Police Chief James White defended his officers wearing the protective gear, and called the denial of service and subsequent social media post “shameful and apparently, unprovoked.”
White said his department is hoping to contact Mahoney and store management to talk about the post. White said in a statement:
“Law enforcement is a dangerous profession. Body armor provides our officers protection and is an essential part of the police uniform.
“It is the desire of each and every member of the Detroit Police Department to fulfill their duties as a law enforcement officer and at the end of their shift return home to their loved ones.
“Members of DPD wear body armor to protect themselves so they can return home safely.
“It’s a shameful post and apparently, unprovoked.
“We are extremely thankful for the overwhelming response and support we receive from the community. We’ve attempted to reach out to the shop’s owner in hopes of having a thoughtful conversation.”
A Detroit police spokesman said that as far as he knows, no officers have been denied service at Cold Truth Soft Serve for wearing body armor.
Online reaction to the store’s post was swift, with some first responders and their supporters challenging the validity of the issue.
Cold Truth shared a photo of negative reviews with the caption:
“Sorry to all the new visitors, we are not comfortable with Tactical gear/body armor at our space.”
The shop is popular and many comments support Cold Truth’s stance. However, Mahoney has not explained if there was an actual instance in which police in “Tactical gear/body armor” scared any customers or if this was a shrewd attempt to cash in on anti-police sentiment.
The Detroit Police Department has 2,200 officers on its force and if each officer has three people in his or her household, that would mean 6,600 people who could refuse to bring their business to Cold Truth. That’s a lot of lost business to make a point.
A Google reviewer by the name of EMT to RN Ryan wrote:
“Trash company that does not support fire, EMS, or police. Calls himself a vet. Should probably strip that title because you’re a poor excuse for a vet. Good luck with the new business venture after your business face dives. You’re an ice cream shop, not a 5 star restaurant.”
How ignorant. Sounds exactly like something a “vegan ice cream” place would do. https://t.co/VZt7s3MxOS
— RM (@MACDetroit2001) July 1, 2022
Jackelyn W. said:
“The fact that you discriminate and have made it very clear that you will not serve police, the people that keep you safe and if your establishment needed them they would be there in a heartbeat. Terrible service and mediocre ice cream! Boycott this place!!!!!!!”
An Instagram post showing delicious-looking vanilla and fudge ice cream in a waffle cone with toasted coconut flakes loses its appeal after reading the message posted with it.
The lack of patriotism is likely intentional, as the cool kids boycotted celebrating their nation’s birthday. Such enthusiasm for Taco Tuesday and none for the USA. What a shame. The message:
‘This is our safe space and they have weapons’: San Francisco restaurant refuses service to uniformed cops
December 5, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A restaurant in San Francisco is defending its decision to refuse service to police officers because they did not feel safe since they were armed.
The co-owner somehow believes that their restaurant is a ‘safe space’ and as such, they do not have to serve anyone, including officers, who have weapons.
Three uniformed, on-duty San Francisco police officers decided that they wanted to have lunch at the restaurant, Hilda and Jesse, on Union Street in North Beach.
While it is usually more than acceptable to have uniformed police officers at any business as it deters crime inside, the employees inside of the store were not having it, and eventually told them that they had to leave.
It would seem reasonable, especially in a violent crime-ridden city like San Francisco, that business owners would be begging for a uniformed presence inside of their locations since, shockingly, most criminals will avoid those areas to commit crimes.
However, that is not the case in Hilda and Jesse’s as the presence of law-abiding, law enforcement officers somehow made the restaurant feel unsafe since they were armed.
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) December 5, 2021
The Chef and Co-Owner of the store, Rachel Sillcocks, spoke to ABC News and not only confirmed that this happened but, incredibly stood by the decision.
Sillcocks defended the move saying that she had nothing against the police officers and somehow supported the police department. Rather, it was because they were armed, as police officers are required to be.
She told the outlet:
“It’s not about the fact that we are anti-police. It is about the fact that we do not allow weapons in our restaurant. We were uncomfortable, and we asked them to leave. It has nothing to do that they were officers. It has everything to do that they were carrying guns.”
(Interesting how she says “the fact that we are anti-police”.)
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) December 5, 2021
Sillcocks reiterated that refusing the officer’s service had nothing to do with them being officers, as they would have asked any armed security guard to leave as well.
She said that those officers or any others are more than welcome to dine in their establishment provided they are not in uniform or armed.
Sillcocks then attempted to praise the police department while still refusing them service. She said:
“We understand how much the police support and protect the community. We want to again reiterate the fact that this is about guns being in our space, and we don’t allow it.”
The restaurant went to Instagram to defend its decision. They wrote:
“On Friday, Dec. 3, three armed and uniformed San Francisco police officers came in to dine at Hilda and Jesse. Shortly after seating them, our staff felt uncomfortable with the presence of their multiple weapons. We then politely asked them to leave.
“At Hilda and Jesse, the restaurant is a safe space. The presence of the officer’s weapons in the restaurant made us feel uncomfortable. We respect the San Francisco Police Department and are grateful for the work they do. We welcome them into the restaurant when they are off duty, out of uniform, and without their weapons.”
View this post on Instagram
The officers did as expected and left the business without causing a scene. When word spread to the San Francisco Police Chief, William Scott, he said he was “disappointed.” Scott said:
“The San Francisco Police Department stands for safety with respect, even when it means respecting wishes that our officers and I find discouraging and personally disappointing.
I believe the vast majority of San Franciscans welcome their police officers, who deserve to know that they are appreciated for the difficult job we ask them to do – in their uniforms – to keep our neighborhoods and businesses safe.”
(1/3) Community engagement is a core principle of SFPD’s 21st century police reforms, and we are intentional about asking our officers to support local businesses and get to know those they’re sworn to safeguard. https://t.co/nJsk4hy0tB
— SFPD Chief Scott (@SFPDChief) December 5, 2021
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