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This Coffee Shop Refuses To Serve To Police Officers

March 12, 2018

Traditionally, small businesses have often treated officers in uniform very well, with the occasional free item or discount. It's a practice that makes sense. Besides showing respect for the men and women in blue, cops tend to be a very tight knit group, eating, drinking, and spending money at the same businesses.

times are certainly changing, and one coffee shop, in Oakland, has decided to go in the opposite direction. Hasta Muerte Coffee is an employee owned co-op where police are down right not welcome. The shop will not serve to officers in uniform. This polarizing policy first gained notice when Hasta Muerte refused service to uniformed officer several weeks ago.

Reports say Employees refused to discuss the policy, but after a look at the shop's Instagram you can see they clearly state that, "We have a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves."

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The full catiption reads:

"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."

The Oakland Police Officers Association have reached out to Hasta Muerte, hoping to discuss the shop's policy. Reports say the officer who was first refused service left without incident, and while surprised, hopes that Hasta Muerte and the Oakland force can work to build a positive relationship in the future.

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