A bakery and restaurant’s refusal to serve a uniformed police officer has sparked controversy, drawing criticism from the San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA).
The bakery chain, Reem’s, has implemented a “NO COPS ALLOWED” policy, which recently came to light when a police officer in uniform was denied service, according to a statement by the SFPOA. The incident was shared on social media, prompting a backlash from the law enforcement community.
San Fran Cop Ban | Bakery Issues No-Cop Policy In The Middle Of A Crime Crisis
The bakery, Reem's California, an Arab bakery and street food restaurant, announced its decision through a now-viral social media post, specifying that uniformed police officers would no longer be… pic.twitter.com/w7TQxv9yYu
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The police union’s social media post stated, “One of our officers was denied service last weekend because he was in uniform. Reem’s confirms that they will not serve anyone armed and in uniform. Presumably, this includes members of the US Military.” Lt. Tracy McCray, the president of the police union, expressed their disappointment in the incident.
The officer who was refused service, identified as Officer Vincent Fontela, shared his perspective on the encounter, emphasizing the need for constructive conversations between police officers and community members.
“I politely left because I believe that police officers and community members should spend more time listening to each other than shouting at each other,” Officer Fontela remarked. “But you can’t do that when your presence isn’t wanted and your money is no good.”
In response to the union’s inquiries, Reem’s provided an email clarifying their policy. The email stated, “At Reem’s we do have a policy to not serve anyone that is armed in a uniform. All officers are welcome to come to our establishment when they are off duty and not armed.”
The bakery and restaurant further solidified its stance on Instagram, indicating that the policy is rooted in a commitment to “advancing social and racial justice.” The post highlighted the business’s desire to contribute to a “safer environment” by prohibiting guns on the premises in spite of the surging criminal activity that currently plagues the city.
However, the police union, represented by Lt. McCray, criticized the policy as biased against law enforcement officers. McCray called for transparency from Reem’s regarding their refusal policy.
“In a time of increased gun violence — particularly impacting people of color, youth, and queer people — we believe that maintaining a strict policy of prohibiting guns in our restaurant keeps us safer,” read the statement from Reem’s.
The incident has ignited a broader conversation about the relationship between police departments and local businesses, as well as the role of uniformed police should Reem’s find itself in a state of emergency during California’s current crime crisis.