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Cali. coffee shop refuses to serve cops to ‘protect physical and emotional safety’ of customers

Hasta Muerte Coffee (YouTube)
March 12, 2018

A recently opened Oakland coffee shop has come under fire after announcing they they won’t be serving uniformed police officers, NBC Bay Area reported.

Hasta Muerte Coffee refused to serve coffee to a uniformed police officer on Feb. 16. The officer is a sergeant and president of the Latino Police Officers Association of Alameda County, KCRA reported.

In an Instagram post, the coffee shop said it does not serve police officers because they have “a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.”

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.

A post shared by Hasta Muerte Coffee (@hastamuertecoffee) on

“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 Instagram post read. “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.”

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The Oakland Police Department tweeted Thursday that it “respects business owners right to serve anyone they choose” and that police officials and other community members are “reaching out to the business to have constructive dialogue in our efforts to unite our community.”

Oakland Police Department (Twitter)

The Oakland Police Officers Association sent a letter to the coffee shop in hopes of opening up a dialogue. The police officer that was turned away in February told NBC Bay Area that he is hoping to speak with the shop owners and build a relationship with them.