A San Francisco restaurant faces backlash after saying its staff refused to serve three police officers because the presence of guns made them “uncomfortable.”
Critics online expressed disappointment after three uniformed officers from the San Francisco Police Department were told to leave the Hilda and Jesse restaurant in North Beach on Friday morning.
In an Instagram post, Hilda and Jesse co-founders Kristina Liedags Compton and Rachel Sillcocks called their restaurant a “safe space” and the presence of officers’ weapons made their staff “uncomfortable.”
According to the message, the restaurant staff then politely asked the officers to leave.
“We respect the San Francisco Police Department and are grateful for the work they do. We welcome them to the restaurant when they are not on duty, without uniform and without their weapons, ”the restaurant said in a statement.
The company added that the incident was not a political statement, saying it had done what it believed was best for its staff.
Hilda and Jessie’s decision to ask the police to leave comes as San Francisco continues to face an increase in crime.
NBC Bay Area’s Sergio Quintana spoke to several residents, including Kerry, about their thoughts on the incident.
“I’m also in a privileged place where I can ask for help and it happens. So I never felt that way. But for others, they could, ”she said.
NBC Bay Area learned on Saturday that the restaurant’s owners met with officers from SFPD’s central station earlier today to discuss what had happened.
The San Francisco Police Officers Association issued the following statement:
“Three-kicked officers looking to eat where they patrol are treated without tact or class by this establishment. Fortunately, there are many restaurants that do not discriminate and will welcome our officers who work to try to protect all San Franciscans. “
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott also posted the following statement on his Twitter page:
“The San Francisco Police Department upholds security with respect, even when it means respecting wishes that our officers and I find discouraging and personally disappointing. I think the vast majority of San Franciscans welcome their police officers, who deserve to know that ‘They are appreciated for the hard work we ask them to do in their uniforms to keep our neighborhoods and businesses safe. ”