Note: we are republishing this story amid nationwide discussion regarding police accountability and the relationship between police officers and their communities.
The owners of a San Francisco North Beach restaurant posted an apology on Sunday over an incident where they asked police officers to leave the establishment because of their guns.
Rachel Sillcocks and Kristina Liedags Compton, the owners of Hilda and Jesse, said: "These are stressful times and we handled this badly."
On Friday, the officers were asked to leave the restaurant, and an explanation for this was posted on the restaurant’s Instagram page on Saturday: "The restaurant is a safe space. The presence of the officers' weapons in the restaurant made us feel uncomfortable. We respect the San Francisco Police Department and are grateful for the work they do. We welcome them into the restaurant when they are off duty, out of uniform and without their weapons."
The post was immediately slammed, with San Francisco police chief William Scott responding that his department "stands for safety with respect, even when it means respecting wishes that our officers and I find discouraging and personally disappointing."
On Sunday, the restaurant issued its apology: "We made a mistake and apologize for the unfortunate incident on Friday when we asked members of the San Francisco Police Department to leave our restaurant. We are grateful to all members of the force who work hard to keep us safe, especially during these challenging times."
The incident sparked conflicting opinions, with some stating that the restaurant’s actions were discriminatory.
One commenter wrote: "How disrespectful and entitled of the business to treat people who risk their lives to protect us. It's a bit heartbreaking actually."
A second person wrote: "So bummed this happened in my neighborhood. Never had the food at this new restaurant. But it could not possibly be good enough to cover the bad taste this leaves."
However, another commenter disagreed: "It's her restaurant she can do what she wants. Who wants to be eating lunch next to someone with a weapon."
Sources: CBS News