Claiming it’s to protect the “physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves,” a coffee shop in Oakland, California, is refusing to serve police officers in uniform.
And now it’s under fire.
A company called Hasta Muerte Coffee, which is employee-owned and opened only recently, announced last month it’s not serving officers in uniform, Fox News reported.
Several weeks ago, an Oakland police sergeant wanted to introduce himself to the owners and get a cup of coffee, the Fox News piece noted. But he was denied service, as KTVU noted.
In a letter to the Oakland police union afterward, the coffee shop said “it does not serve the police.”
Hasta Muerta Coffee — which means “until death” in Spanish — explained its position in a social media post last month — which sparked serious backlash. “We have a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves,” the post read.
The post went on to say:
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,” noted the Fox News piece and other outlets, “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.”
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The Oakland Police Officers Association asked the café to “open a dialogue about its policy,” San Francisco Gate reported.