Though the phrase has been roundly discredited from being a factual element in the police shooting of Michael Brown based on forensic evidence, Ben Cohen, of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream wants Ben and Jerry’s stores to sell t-shirts that read “HANDS UP DON’T SHOOT” as a way to help end “police oppression”. Cohen’s crusade against “police brutality” was also picked up by at least one local store, in Athens, GA, where this was posted to their Facebook page:
“Our scoop shop managers got to meet THE Ben and Jerry at the annual franchisee/manager retreat! Stay tune to see how our shop will implement Ben’s take on “hands up don’t shoot” campaign to address police brutality and empower children of color.”
Yesterday however, after a social media backlash to the co-founder’s statements, Ben and Jerry’s released this not-so-apologetic statement on their website:
“Ben & Jerry’s deeply respects and appreciates all those who protect and serve our communities. We do not subscribe to the narrative that we have to choose between black lives and blue lives. All lives matter.
There is injustice rooted in race in our society. This is an important issue and is deserving of efforts from all including businesses, organizations and individuals to further peace and understanding in our communities. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
While the Hands Up Don’t Shoot campaign is not being conducted by Ben & Jerry’s business, we support our cofounders as individuals and our independent franchisees to express their values and be activists in their community.”
This is the same organization that was put on a boycott list for LEOs for donating to the defense fund of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.