S.F. bakery won't serve cops, police union claims. Store says it's about the guns, not the cops

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 20: San Francisco police place barriers along California Street as the presidential motorcade prepares to depart the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. (Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images)
San Francisco police position street barricades near the Fairmont Hotel in June. (Jane Tyska / Digital First Media / East Bay Times via Getty Images)

San Francisco's police union says a city bakery chain has a "bigoted" policy of not serving uniformed cops.

The San Francisco Police Officers Assn. wrote in a social media post last week that Reem's California "will not serve anyone armed and in uniform" and that includes "members of the U.S. Military." The union is demanding that the chain "own" its policy.

Reem's says, however, its policy isn't against serving armed police officers. It's against allowing guns inside its businesses.

The union tweeted: "We are not asking Reem’s or any business with a bigoted policy to serve our officers. We’re asking them to own their discriminatory policy & and put up a sign so we know not to spend money in your establishment — on or off duty."

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Reem's said in a statement to SFGate that its policy is to keep its employees safe by keeping guns outside of its businesses.

“Reem’s has a deep commitment to uplifting social and racial justice in our communities,” the statement said. “This includes fostering an environment of safety for our staff and customers. 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.”

The restaurant chain and the union didn't immediately respond to The Times' requests for comment.

The president of the union, Tracy McCray, disputed Reem's statement in an email to SFGATE, writing that the bakery prohibited people "armed in a uniform."

“That is not our interpretation of their policy. That is exactly what they said their policy was. That is what their employee told our officer,” McCray wrote. “And this is our point, if you’re going to have policies that discriminate against one group of people, then own it, post it publicly, and let your potential customers make the decision that best reflects their values.”

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There have been other incidents in recent years when a San Francisco business has denied service to armed police officers.

Earlier this year, an employee at Pizza Squared in San Francisco told multiple police officers they weren't welcome at the pizza shop, according to a statement from the business on Twitter. The cashier was fired; the store told him he was "out of line."

In December 2021, the owners of Hilda and Jesse restaurant in San Francisco apologized after asking three officers to leave because they were “uncomfortable with the presence of their multiple weapons," according to a social media post.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.