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A pro-Black Lives Matter business that voiced repeated public support for the autonomous zone "CHOP" recently sued Seattle over the "extensive property [damage]" caused by BLM and Antifa rioters' "hostile occupation," according to KIRO-FM reporter Sam Campbell.
Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream, a Seattle-based chain, filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle for allowing the formation of the BLM autonomous zone — initially called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, then later renamed Capitol Hill Occupied Protest.
During the summer of 2020, the anti-police area took over several blocks surrounding the ice cream chain's Capitol Hill location.
The lawsuit accused the city of abandoning the area, "leaving it unchecked by the police, unserved by fire and emergency health services, and inaccessible to the public at large." The ice cream chain's lawsuit also stated that Seattle "encourage[d] a hostile occupation of that neighborhood."
"The City's decision subjected businesses, employees, and residents of that neighborhood to extensive property damage, public safety dangers, and an inability to use and access their properties," the complaint stated.
The lawsuit claimed that the ice cream chain lost customers because they could not "safely" access the business and instead often decided to avoid the area entirely.
On June 12, 2020, the store posted on social media that it would be "closed until 5 p.m. while we join the Black Lives Matter March of Silence."
According to the lawsuit, it had to close its store on June 20, after "the first homicide in CHOP." The store closed its doors on July 1 and 4, again citing safety concerns.
"We have decided not to open our Capitol Hill shop today, and will likely be closing this shop early (8pm) in the coming days. We have been supportive of CHOP next door to us, and continue to 100% support the Black Lives Matter movement, but incidents in the last few days have created an environment that does not feel safe. Safety of our community - mooncrew, customers and neighbors - is always our priority. Justice will take all kinds of work and we will continue moving forward and supporting always," the business wrote on social media at the time.
However, Molly Moon's, which continues to voice support for BLM, noted in its suit that it "does not seek to undermine CHOP participants' message or present a counter message."
Instead, the business stated that it "supports free-speech rights and the efforts of organizations such as Black Lives Matter who, by exercising such rights, are bringing issues such as systemic racism and unfair violence against African Americans by police to the forefront of the national consciousness."
"Specifically, Plaintiff supports the free-speech rights of many of those who gathered on Capitol Hill," it added.
Nearly a month after the occupation of the autonomous zone, Molly Moon's posted a sign in the window stating that armed police officers are not welcome inside the business.
"Police Officers: Molly Moon's is a gun free zone," the sign read. "Please do not come inside if you are wearing a firearm."
Regarding the sign, Molly Moon Neitzel, the store's owner and founder, told KCPQ-TV, "I am anti the current police system."
Molly Moon's is seeking an unspecified amount in damages from Seattle for "encouraging an indefinite, unpermitted invasion."
Moon Neitzel told Fox News Digital, "At Molly Moon's we hold race equity at the top of our list of our priorities for how we want to make the world better. Black Lives Matter. The lawsuit filed on Wednesday, June 7 is not meant to undermine that important message. It's seeking compensation for the significant revenue losses and team morale impacts we experienced during and for many months after CHOP caused by the City of Seattle's decision to affirmatively create and assist the CHOP occupation of Capitol Hill, to abandon the police precinct and to stop responding to public safety needs in our beloved Capitol Hill community."
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Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.