If you’re an Oakland cop in uniform, don’t bother stopping in at Hasta Muerte Coffee for a cup of joe, or anything else for that matter, because all you will get is asked to leave.
The shop is located in Oakland, California, and recently made headlines when they asked a police sergeant to leave when he stopped in for some coffee.
It is a worker-owned co-op that has a policy of turning away cops at the door.
The company explained their reasoning in not serving cops in an Instagram post. The post included an image that read, “Talk to your neighbors, not the police” in Spanish.
“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,’” the post read.
“ … 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.”
Noel Gallo, who is an Oakland city councilmember representing the district the shop operates in, said that he has met with workers from the coffee shop about their policy.
“My understanding is they’re not going to serve police officers,” Gallo stated. “I don’t agree with that, 100 percent. I think we need to work together, not against each other.”
Some people are definitely upset about this rule but many seem to feel, as do the owners, that it is up to the business who they choose to serve and who they do not.
Oakland resident Tenaya Gunter Brown is one of those people.
“I think that if a group of people don’t feel safe with a police officer currently on duty, coming into a space,” she told KTVU, “ … then that is a choice they should be able to make.”
Complete disrespect! Oakland, CA coffee shop refuses to serve cops pic.twitter.com/kuCWzxLLHk
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) March 9, 2018
The officer that was denied his coffee says that he would like to speak to the people who work at Hasta Muerte Coffee and find a way to bridge the divide.
The coffee shop posted on Instagram that they would not be surprised if the cops try to maintain “smooth public relations to uphold power.”
“We want to put this out to our communities now, in case we end up facing backlash because as we know (Oakland police), unlike the community, has tons of resources, many of which are poured into maintaining smooth public relations to uphold power,” they wrote on Instagram. “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.”