Oakland, CA – An Oakland police officer who went into a new business on his beat to buy a cup of coffee on Feb. 16 was told that the recently-opened coffee shop will not serve cops.
The owners of Hasta Muerte Coffee, a worker-owner collective whose name means “Until Death Coffee,” posted the letter they received on Instagram and explained that the new business in the Fruitvale district has “a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.”
A mural on the outside of the café features scenes that decry police shootings and brutality, and the militarization of law enforcement, KTVU reported.
“This past weekend, I received a telephone call from an Oakland Police Sergeant, who advised that when he presented himself at your establishment to introduce himself as the district Sergeant and buy a cup of coffee, he was refused service,” Oakland Police Officers Association President Barry Donelon wrote in a letter to the business on Feb. 20.
“I have never heard of Police Officers being refused service by an Oakland business. Therefore, I write to you to clarify your business policy on serving, or indeed not serving, Oakland Police Officers,” Donelon wrote.
Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo, who represents the district where Hasta Muerte Coffee is located, went to talk with the management when he heard about the policy.
"My understanding is they're not going to serve police officers," Gallo told KTVU.
"I don't agree with that, 100 percent," he said. "I think we need to work together, not against each other."
While some cop haters supported the coffee shop’s online declaration of their discrimination against police officers, quite a few pointed out the hypocrisy of their declaration.
“So what happens if your coffee shop gets robbed?! Who do you call to catch the bad guy? This is great you publicly posted this. It’s shareable. Allows patrons to decide to either promote and support your business/ or tell all their friends to not support your business and share. You’d be amazed how many people do and don’t support the police. Lol,” whyohwhy_1 wrote on their Instagram post.
Quite a few expressed concern about their own safety in the café with police having been banned.
“Personally I'd feel far LESS safe at a business that refused services to cops. Seems like you're afraid they'll find something you don't want them to see. You are getting crap reviews for a bigoted policy,” angelajean04 posted.
“@whodisb 9-11 what’s your emergency ‘ this is Hasta La Muerte coffee shop, we’ve been robbed’ I’m sorry we don’t service that establishment.... have a good day,” antonio0918 posted on the picture that had only received 122 likes when this article was published.
But it appears that the management of Hasta Muerte Coffee has an extreme opinion on law enforcement that isn’t going to change. They responded to criticism on Instagram by attacking police wives, and anybody who might want to grow up and be a police officer.
“F**k the POLICE!!!!!!! F**k you too if you justify their actions or wanna regurgitate their justifications. F**k you too if you married to them or plan on working for them. POLICE ARE RACIST F**KING MURDERERS! There isn't such thing as a good cop, if they continue to let the bad ones keep MURDERING our people! JAIL ALL KILLER COPS!” they posted on their Instagram page.
KTVU reported that many of its neighbors don’t agree with Hasta Muerte Coffee’s policy either.
"I don't know what they got against them," Roberto Lopez said.
A resident named “T” told KTVU he doesn’t understand the coffee shop’s policy and thought it was “cold-blooded.”
Oakland resident Mildred Jelks pointed out the hypocrisy of the wanna-be social justice warriors running the business.
"I don't think it's fair - they should [serve police]," Oaks told KTVU. "They're protecting them. If somebody breaks in there, who are they gonna call? The police."
The coffee shop took to social media to complain about the fact their actions were being blasted on review sites like Yelp in the wake of their refusal to serve their police district’s sergeant.
“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,” the business complained on its Instagram post.
Hasta Muerte Coffee’s social media page is decidedly anti-cop, and the four most recent posts on the page supported protests in San Francisco’s Mission District this week. Protesters were outraged that police fatally shot an undocumented immigrant who was shooting at police on Tuesday night (video in link.)