SEATTLE – An ice cream shop owner in Seattle has made it clear that she does not want armed police officers inside her business.
This week, Molly Moon-Neitzel posted a sign outside her Capitol Hill shop declaring her desire to keep cops out.
“Police officers, Molly Moon’s is a gun free zone. Please do not come inside if you are wearing a firearm,” the sign reads.
Although Moon-Neitzel owns nine ice cream shops across the region, the signs only hang at the Capitol Hill location, KOMO reported.
She said the move comes after hundreds of armed officers visited her shop while CHOP was being dismantled.
“We had a few hundred come in, packing their guns and it was making my employees feel uncomfortable.”
Moon-Neitzel said all of her shops have been gun-free for roughly five years, but after CHOP, she said she felt like she needed to specifically clarify, this policy includes armed police officers.
“They were intimidating and causing some of my black and brown employees to feel unsafe.”
Moon-Neitzel said police officers are welcome if they are not armed.
“I would say finish your shift, go home, take a shower, have dinner with your family, and please come to Molly Moon’s and get some ice cream. Everyone is welcome.”
The businesswoman said she supports the Black Lives Matter movement as well as efforts to defund the Seattle Police Department.
“I think the awakening that is happening by white Seattleites that we need to do more to protect Black lives – and to tear down systemic and institutional racism is a very, very good thing to be happening.”
However, Moon-Neitzel’s post on social media with an explanation of her actions was met with many negative comments, according to KOMO.
“It’s awful that I fear for the health of my business – which is already on the brink – because of the pandemic,” she said. “Now I fear for it because folks from out of state are threatening me on Instagram because I don’t want them in my ice cream shop.”
There were affirming comments online as well, and some people stopped by the Capitol Hill location on Wednesday to show their support on Moon-Neitzel’s stance.
“I know business has been suffering so I just wanted to come down, and anyone who has a positive message like that I think needs to be supported,” said Carl Smith, who said he donated $500 to the shop.
A spokesperson for the Seattle Police Department acknowledge awareness of the sign but had no comment.