A California coffee shop is under fire over its policy of refusing service to police officers.
Controversy erupted after Hasta Muerte Coffee in Oakland, Calif., refused to serve a Latino police sergeant citing its policy of “asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.”
The Oakland police union sent a letter to the cafe alleging that its staff refused to serve the sergeant.
“Obviously, this is both a surprise and a matter of concern for all Oakland police officers,” the letter read, KTVU reported.
The cafe claims that supporters of the police department are trying to shame the restaurant with low reviews because the cop who was denied service was Latino.
But the establishment defended its policy.
“We know in our experience working on campaigns against police brutality that we are not alone saying that police presence compromises our feelings of physical & emotional safety,” Hasta Muerte Coffee said on its Instagram page.
“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,” the statement read.
Some Oakland residents are opposed to the policy.
“I don’t know what they got against them,” Roberto Lopez told KTVU.
“I think it’s cold blooded. I don’t understand that,” said another resident.
Oakland City Council member Noel Gallo said cafe managers confirmed the policy.
“My understanding is they’re not going to serve police officers,” Gallo told KTVU.
“I don’t agree with that, 100%.” he said. “I think we need to work together, not against each other.
Other residents wondered who staff would call if someone were to break into the anti-cop establishment.
At least one Oakland resident wasn’t bothered by the policy.
“I think that if a group of people don’t feel safe with a police officer currently on duty, coming into a space, they want people in this neighborhood to be able to feel safe, coming into their space, then that is a choice they should be able to make,” she told KTVU.
The Oakland Police Department responded with a tweet saying it “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.”
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