A Detroit-based vegan ice cream shop is taking flak after refusing to serve police officers who are clad in body armor.
The owner of Cold Truth, Tim Mahoney shared his store’s new policy via an Instagram story Thursday, the Daily Wire reported.
In the post, a Detroit PD vehicle was parked on the wrong side of the street in front of the ice cream shop with a caption that said, “we can tolerate the parking however you please, but we will not serve anyone wearing body armor.”
In a later Facebook post, Maloney clarified his policy.
“Cold Truth is a family/community ice cream spot. There are times when various units come through and are outfitted in heavy duty tactical gear, it is disturbing and unsettling for some of the families in our space,” he wrote.
“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,” the post continued.
Screenshots of the original post immediately went viral on social media, which resulted in dozens of readers flooding the establishment with one-star reviews, ABC affiliate WXYZ Detroit reported.
“We’re definitely getting national people kind of coming in and weighing in and calling and stuff like that,” owner Tim Mahoney told the outlet. “It’s unfortunate people are spending their time doing this.”
Maloney said his establishment has never turned away law enforcement but it sounds as though that’s coming if they’re not ‘dressed the right way.’
“(We’re) not anti-police,” Mahoney said. “We just think the militarization of the dress and the cars being blacked out, it’s intimidating.”
“I am vehemently against the heavy tactical gear and I want to be a part of the conversation that minimizes that,” Mahoney said. “It’s just the uniform, it’s the Kevlar, it’s that dress. We ask that after the shift, please come by.”
Detroit Police Chief James White ripped the shop for its stance in a statement.
“Law enforcement is a dangerous profession,” White said. “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.”
Many of those who joined the conversation online sided with cops.
“You know, police officers wear body armor for the same reason firefighters and paramedics do,” one Facebook commenter wrote. “People shoot at them, and they need to be protected. And if you ever saw pictures of the armor military personnel wear, you would know that it is not the same. But, you hate cops, so you should just admit that.”
“As someone who has lived in Detroit all my life and I’m not talking about the surrounding areas of Detroit, as a black female with black brothers/sisters, as someone who has protested police brutality, as someone with family in some of the worst parts of Detroit. I’m tired of y’all fake woke liberals,” another person added.
“We literally have one of the deadliest zip codes in the country,” the commenter continued, adding that “just a few weeks ago multiple police cars were lit up on different days.”
“If them walking around with gear on to keep safe makes you uncomfortable go back to the suburbs. If you live in Detroit you should know downtown is wild in the summer period,” the commenter added.