Oakland coffee shop refuses to serve police officers
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An Oakland coffee shop is facing criticism after denying service to a local police officer, citing a policy of protecting “the physical and emotional safety” of its customers.

Hasta Muerte Coffee posted on its Instagram page about the incident, saying that the shop has a policy “of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.”

“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,” the business wrote. “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.”

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.

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The coffee shop wrote that supporters of the police department are now trying to “publicly shame” the business because the police officer in question was Latino.

“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 caption read.

The coffee shop also shared photos of two negative reviews in the wake of the incident, adding the commentary, “Not my president” and, “sorry not sorry.”

The Oakland Police Department responded to the situation in a tweet, saying that the department “respects business owners right to serve anyone they choose.”

“OPD along with other community members are reaching out to the business to have constructive dialogue in our efforts to unite our community,” the department wrote.

Oakland has recently been in the national spotlight after Democratic Mayor Libby Schaaf warned residents of impending immigration raids. Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions: DOJ concerned about suppression of free speech on college campuses Faith communities are mobilizing against Trump’s family separation policy Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lands book deal MORE then filed a lawsuit against the state of California over its sanctuary city policies.