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SF restaurant owner accuses police union of retaliation in rent dispute

Adam Snyder still remembers the night back in November 2002 when he and his friend found themselves attacked by off-duty San Francisco police officers outside a local bar – marking the start of a notorious chapter in SFPD history known as Fajitagate.

Twenty one years later, Snyder is now part owner of the now shuttered The Brixton gastropub on Second Street in San Francisco. He and two partners opened for business just before the COVID-19 pandemic but ended up having to shut down.  

Now, the owners of the building, the San Francisco Police Officers Association, are suing to collect $375,000 in back rent that accrued during the pandemic.

It was the SF police union that helped defend off-duty officers in the beating as well as command staff charged with wrongdoing and coverup, who were later cleared.  

Snyder alleges in a court filing on Tuesday that he is suffering now for his previous role in triggering what would become a major police sandal.

“All I did was tell the truth,” Snyder said in a recent interview, recalling how he called 911 following the attack in November 2002. “I feel like because I did that, they’ve held it against me since then.”

Snyder said while no one seemed to recognize his Fajitagate role when he and his partners started the restaurant in 2019, everything changed a year later when a union official attending a remote meeting during COVID repeatedly asked for his name.

Since then, Snyder says, the union has not responded to multiple proposals to start to make good on the outstanding rent. After getting an eviction notice, the restaurant officially shutdown on Oct. 1.

Snyder says he and his partners invested $1.5 million in upgrades to the business – and still feels the dispute could have been resolved.

“They’re forcing us out of business,” he said. “Our family. We call them family, our staff, is going to be the ones to pay the price.”

The officers association did not respond to a request for comment. 

Source: NBC Bay Area

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