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Molly Moon's Ice Cream sues Seattle over revenue losses during and after CHOP

caption: Ice cream at Molly Moon's in Wallingford.
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Ice cream at Molly Moon's in Wallingford.

The Seattle-based boutique ice cream company, Molly Moon’s, has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Seattle over alleged revenue losses during and after the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, also known as CHOP, in 2020.

The local ice cream chain claims the city violated its constitutional rights by creating a “government-authorized invasion” and acting with “deliberate indifference towards the safety and property” of its store. The suit is seeking an unidentified amount in damages.

During the 2020 Black Lives Matter protest, the Seattle Police Department left the East Precinct headquarters. Protestors then occupied a 10-block area surrounding a Molly Moon’s location.

The suit alleges that SPD’s decision to “abandon and close off” the area encouraged a “hostile occupation of the neighborhood.” It added that it left the neighborhood “unchecked by police, unserved by fire and emergency health services, and inaccessible to the public.”

Police also moved barriers, leaving customers unable to safely access the ice cream shop, or customers avoided the area entirely.

Due to fears of more violence and safety concerns, the store closed for multiple days. In the past, CEO Molly Moon Neitzel stated that she supports police reform.

In a statement, Molly Moon said the suit is not meant to undermine protestor’s messages. The company says the suit is seeking “indemnification for the significant revenue losses and team morale impacts experienced during and for many months after CHOP caused by the City of Seattle’s decision to abandon the police precinct.”

According to KOMO news, after CHOP was dismantled, hundreds of armed police officers visited the shop and made employees feel uncomfortable. This led to Neitzel posting a sign reading, “Police officers, Molly Moon’s is a gun free zone. Please do not come inside if you are wearing a firearm.” Police officers were welcomed if they were not armed.

The city of Seattle says it’s reviewing the lawsuit.

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