San Francisco bakery sparks debate by refusing to serve armed police

The San Franciscopolice officer’s union reacted with outrage last week when Reem’s, a local bakery chain, refused to serve an officer in uniform.

“NO COPS ALLOWED,” the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “That’s the confirmed policy of the bakery chain Reem’s. 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.”

The union also claimed the policy was “bigoted” and “discriminatory.”

Reem’s, a bakery serving Arab food, with locations across San Francisco and Oakland, confirmed the indicent took place at its Mission neighbourhood store, but said the policy applies to all armed people and that officers were welcome to come in while off duty.

“Reem’s has a deep commitment to uplifting social and racial justice in our communities,” the business wrote in a statement on Instagram. “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 belive that maintaining a strict policy of prohibiting guns in our restaurant keeps us safer.”

“Many members of our community have been impacted by gun violence, whether that be experience on the streets of San Francisco, having come from war or occupation, or having increased fears due to a growing climate of political extremism,” the bakery continued. “All too often, Black and brown people, and poor people are the victims of this violence. At Reem’s, we aim to provide a space where people can eat delicious Arab food and work together to strengthen our community, without fear of violence or harassment.”

The Mission neighbourhood is a diverse area home to numerous immigrant communities from different countries.

San Francisco police say a ‘bigoted’ local bakery refused to serve a uniformed officer (Getty Images)
San Francisco police say a ‘bigoted’ local bakery refused to serve a uniformed officer (Getty Images)

It’s not the first time such a controversy has occured. A cashier was fired from a San Francisco pizzeria earlier this year for refusing to serve a police office.

Meanwhile, in 2021, the San Francisco restaurant Hilda and Jesse apologised for refusing to serve three uniformed SFPD officers.

The San Francisco Police Department has a well-documented record of disproportionate violence against people of colour.

Black people are 6.5 times more likely to be shot by the SFPD than white people, while Latinx people are 3.6 times more likely, according to data from Mapping Police Violence.