MIDTOWN, Mich. – An ice cream shop serves up social media controversy with a post about police.
On Thursday (June 30), the Detroit Police Department Chief has some things to say about it.
The owner posted on social media asking officers to dump their gear before coming in for a treat, saying it’s intimidating.
He says he wanted to start a conversation, and he certainly did, as the post, although brief, has been shared hundreds of times.
Despite the feedback of what’s being written about him and his business, he says he’s not anti-police.
“We can tolerate the parking however-you-please, but we will not serve anyone wearing body armor,” reads the social media post.
Seen in the video player above is the post that everyone is talking about, calling out Detroit police for more than just a park job.
“This militarization, the dress, the cars being blacked out, it’s just intimidating,” said Cold Truth Owner Timothy Mahoney.
Mahoney, the author of the social media post, says he hasn’t turned away any police officers, but he does have a request.
“It’s just the uniform,” Mahoney said. “It’s just the kevlar. We ask that after the shift, please come by.”
Mahoney feels the presence of officers in body armor may not mix well with the comfortable atmosphere he hopes to create.
“(It’s a) family and friendly establishment,” said Kara Meister.
Dave Buick and Meister agree with Mahoney’s stance.
“It can be intimidating, and when you’re getting ice cream, you don’t want to be intimidated,” Buick said.
Brooke Bright says it would make her a little leery as well.
“Honestly, as a person of color who is going in this area, you automatically feel profiled or uncomfortable automatically,” said Bright.
“I think it’s terrible, whether officers dressed in tactical gear or street clothes like me, I think police officers are important to the area,” said Jim.
Jim lives and works in Midtown in the development industry. He owns apartments nearby.
“There’s a lot of break-ins going on in this area,” Jim said.
Jim says police are needed, and it wouldn’t hurt to show it.
“If the business owner was doing it correct, he should offer free ice cream to law enforcement like a lot of restaurants do because that’s what provides safety for the area,” Jim said.
Detroit Police Chief James 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.”Detroit Police Chief James White