The owner of the San Francisco restaurant which kicked three uniformed police officers out to create a “safe space” for other diners apologized for the action. He went on to label it as a “mistake.”
Joseph Zira, the owner of Hilda and Jesse restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach area, apologized on Sunday for the actions taken by his staff and managers, according to a report from KGO ABC7. He added that they regret the move, following a backlash of negative comments and articles.
Zira’s apology came two days after the staff of the restaurant posted on Instagram an announcement that they asked three uniformed police officers to leave their restaurant after the sidearms police are required to wear made them feel “uncomfortable,” Breitbart News reported. They declared the restaurant to be a “safe space.”
“The presence of their weapons in the restaurant made us uncomfortable,” the staff added to the Instagram post as a comment. “This is not a political statement, we did what we thought was best for our staff.”
At Hilda and Jesse, the restaurant is a safe space,” the post states. “The presence of the officers [sic] weapons in the restaurant made us feel uncomfortable. We respect the San Francisco Police Department and are grateful for the work they do.”
They concluded by saying the officers are welcome to return — “when off duty, out of uniform, and without their weapons.”
Rachel Sillcocks, the restaurant’s co-owner previously responded by standing by the decision. “The fact that they were in uniform with multiple weapons on them made our staff uncomfortable, and potentially other guests,” she told a reporter.
She later backtracked in a joint comment with fellow owner Kristina Leidags Compton. The two other co-owners said, “We made a mistake and apologize for the unfortunate incident, we are grateful to all members of the force. We hope this will be a teachable moment for us as we repair and continue to build bridges with the SFPD,” KGO reported.
The apologies seem to have only come after stern reactions from the public and law enforcement associations.
The San Francisco Police Officer’s Association sent a statement to KGO saying, “Three foot-beat officers looking to eat where they patrol were treated without any tact of class by this establishment, fortunately, there are plenty of restaurants that don’t discriminate and will welcome our officers working to try and keep all San Franciscans safe.”
The action to expel the officers on Friday comes amid a spiking crime wave in San Francisco and other Bay Area communities where organized criminal groups raid and loot retail establishments.
High-end businesses in the city’s Union Square area boarded up after a string of “mass looting” events rocked the region, Breitbart’s Joel Pollak reported.
The mass-looting incidents evolved after law enforcement officials in the city refused to prosecute shoplifters. Walgreens closed 17 stores in May following repeated shoplifting incidents, Breitbart’s John Nolte wrote. The San Francisco Chronicle called the city’s crime wave “out of control.”
Joseph Zira added, “I hope one day, they don’t need the police, and don’t need help,” said Zira.