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Oakland Coffee Shop Refuse To Service Police In Uniform Over “History Of Corruption”

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Oakland Coffee Shop Refuse To Service Police In Uniform Over “History Of Corruption”

Hasta Muerte Coffee, a coffee shop in Oakland California owned and operated by people of color, sent a letter to the local police union announcing that the business “does not serve the police.” The letter follows an incident from a week prior in which police sergeant Robert Trevino was denied service.

Hasta Muerte Coffee went into detail about the exchange with Trevino on Instagram writing “talk with your neighbors, not the police.”

“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 business wrote. “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.”

Hasta Muerte added 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.”

The news isn’t sitting too well with other business owners in the neighborhood. Jose ‘Cheo’ Ortiz, the owner of nearby La Perla Resturant, told ABC7 that “For them, to refuse service to a police officer from our community is totally outrageous.”

“He’s a great officer, a great man and he’s all about community. For him to come and introduce himself to a new business and receive that treatment is not acceptable.”

Hasta Muerte cites Oakland PD’s recent attempts “to enlist officers of color,” explaining how it “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. 

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.

A post shared by Hasta Muerte Coffee (@hastamuertecoffee) on

Managing Editor, All Black Media

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