Joe’s Ice Cream in San Francisco’s Richmond District regularly hosted community events, including school fundraisers and even weddings. So when the San Francisco Police Department approached owner Alice Kim to see if she would be willing to host an “Ice Cream with a Cop” event, Kim thought it was a wonderful idea, especially since the ice cream shop had been the victim of a number of recent break-ins.
Some Black Lives Matter protesters disagreed.
At first, the event went smoothly with police passing out stickers to neighborhood children while parents got to know their local officers and even reported some past crimes to the police. The festive atmosphere quickly changed, however, when activists shouting slogans through a megaphone such as “Black Lives Matter” and “f*** the police” descended on the peaceful gathering.
“You should be ashamed of yourselves,” Black Lives Matter protesters shouted at families trying to enjoy their ice cream. “The customers were scared, kids were crying,” Kim later told Eric Ting of SFGate. “They said we were white supremacists and just trying to make money and don’t care about other people’s lives,” she continued.
One might think that police officers getting out into the community to meet the citizens they are hired to protect would be a good thing. It builds trust and eases tension between the police and the policed.
But that is not how Black Lives Matter sees the situation. The activists believe any effort to humanize the police is “copaganda,” which only normalizes racial disparities in how police use force against minorities. Even ice cream socials are a threat to social justice, according to them.
“I’m still having all these nightmares of people coming harassing my family,” Kim told SFGate. “At this moment, I’m a little shaken, too.”
We hope Kim doesn’t give in to Black Lives Matter intimidation and that she will host another “Ice Cream with a Cop” event soon. If any city could use more “copaganda,” it’s San Francisco.