The coffee shop refused to serve the Latino police sergeant and told him to leave…
A coffee shop in California is suffering the backlash of refusing to serve uniformed law enforcement officers, claiming they do it to protect the “physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.”
Hasta Muerte Coffee, an employee-owned business that opened just a few months ago in Oakland, recently announced it will not serve officers in uniform.
It all started a couple of weeks ago when an Oakland police sergeant wanted to introduce himself to the owners and get a cup of coffee. However, he was denied service, KTVU reported.
In a letter to the Oakland police union after the incident, the coffee shop said “it does not serve the police.”
Last Friday February 16th a police (OPD) entered our shop and was told by one of our worker-owners that “we have a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.” Since then, cop supporters are trying to publicly shame us online with low reviews because this particular police visitor was Latino. He broadcasted to his network that he was “refused service” at a local business and now the rumblings are spreading. We know in our experience working on campaigns against police brutality that we are not alone saying that police presence compromises our feeling of physical & emotional safety. There are those that do not share that sentiment – be it because they have a friend or relative who is a police, because they are white or have adopted the privileges whiteness affords, because they are home- or business- owning, or whatever the particular case may be. If they want to make claims about police being part of the community, or claims that race trumps the badge & gun when it comes to police, they must accept that the burden of proof for such a claim is on them. OPDs recent attempts to enlist officers of color and its short term touting of fewer officer involved shootings does not reverse or mend its history of corruption, mismanagement, and scandal, nor a legacy of blatant repression. The facts are that poc, women, and queer police are complicit in upholding the same law and order that routinely criminalizes and terrorizes black and brown and poor folks, especially youth, trans, and houseless folks. For these reasons and so many more, we need the support of the actual community to keep this place safe, not police. Especially in an area faced by drug sales and abuse, homelessness, and toxic masculinity as we see here on this block. We want to put this out to our communities now, in case we end up facing backlash because as we know OPD, unlike the community, has tons of resources, many of which are poured into maintaining smooth public relations to uphold power. It will be no surprise if some of those resources are steered toward discrediting us for not inviting them in as part of the community.
Fox News reports:
Hasta Muerta Coffee, which is Spanish for “until death,” explained the situation in a social media post last month – which sparked widespread criticism online.
“We have a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves,” the post read.
The lengthy post continued: “OPD’s [Oakland Police Department’s] recent attempts to enlist officers of color and its short term touting of fewer officer involved shootings does not reverse or mend its history of corruption, mismanagement, and scandal, nor a legacy of blatant repression. The facts are that poc [people of color], women, and queer police are complicit in upholding the same law and order that routinely criminalizes and terrorizes black and brown and poor folks, especially youth, trans, and houseless folks. For these reasons and so many more, we need the support of the actual community to keep this place safe, not police.”
The post was panned online, with some social media users pointing out that the coffee shop refused to serve a sergeant who is also the president of the Latino Police Officers Association of Alameda County.
The sergeant in question told NBC Bay Area he was hoping to “build a better relationship” with the shop and hopes to speak with the employees.
Roberto Lopez, a resident, said he did not understand the policy.
“I don’t know what they got against them,” Lopez said.
Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo told KTVU he did not agree with the policy but hoped to open a dialogue with the café.
“My understanding is they’re not going to serve police officers,” Gallo said. “I don’t agree with that, 100 percent. I think we need to work together, not against each other.”
San Francisco Gate reported the Oakland Police Officers Association asked the café to “open a dialogue about its policy.”
This sums it up nicely.