San Fransisco-based Reem’s California has refused to serve armed and uniformed police officers due to the chain’s gun ban in stores, leading to accusations of bigotry from the city’s police union.
The San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA) took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to call out the bakery for its policy that bars serving armed and in-uniform police officers and military members.
“We are not asking Reem’s or any business with a bigoted policy to serve our officers,” it wrote. “We’re asking them to own their discriminatory policy [and] and put up a sign so we know not to spend money in your establishment — on or off duty.”
SFPOA President Tracy McCray added that the bakery’s employees reportedly informed an officer that they were prohibited from serving anyone “armed and in a uniform.”
“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,” McCray said in her email to SFGATE.
Reem’s claims it objects to guns, not to police officers
Amid the intense backlash and debate, Reem’s clarified that its policy only applies to armed officers while on duty. They confirmed that police officers are welcome to dine at their establishment, but only when off-duty and unarmed.
“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 company said in a statement.
“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 an experience on the streets of San Francisco or Oakland; having come from war or occupation; or having increased fear due to a growing climate of political extremism.”
The statement further explained that the policy’s intention is to provide a space where patrons can enjoy their food without fear of violence or harassment, particularly as marginalized individuals often bear the brunt of gun violence. Moreover, the doughnut chain’s founder Reem Assil added that the policy aligns with the chain’s commitment to social and racial justice.
Gun Owners of America spokesman Mark Jones, himself a staunch gun rights advocate, called the doughnut chain’s policy an extreme example of anti-gun sentiment.
“Where to even begin? That sounds like anti-gun extremism taken to the max,” Jones argued. “What are they going to do when a bad guy robs their store? Are they not going to want the police there then?”
He continued that “gun-free zones” often do not deter criminals and can even attract them, as they may see such areas as soft targets.
“I’m not disputing private property rights. I’m just pointing to the fallacy that a gun-free zone doesn’t prevent crimes. It just emboldens criminals. Meanwhile, gun control just disarms law-abiding citizens.” (Related: Nordstrom to leave downtown San Francisco after 35 years due to city’s deteriorating conditions of high violence and crime.)
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