Coffee Shop Refuses To Serve Police Officers, Made To Regret It

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A popular community coffee shop refused to serve all uniformed police officers claiming “we have a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.” After word got out about this ban on law enforcement, they were made to regret it.

Hasta Muerte Coffee Shop
Hasta Muerte Coffee (left), Oakland Police Chief (right) (Credit: YouTube/YouTube)

A California coffee shop was under fire after refusing to serve uniformed law enforcement officers, claiming it was to protect the “physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.” Hasta Muerte Coffee, an employee-owned business in Oakland, announced it will not serve officers in uniform.

It all started when Oakland police sergeant Robert Trevino wanted to introduce himself to the owners and get a cup of coffee. However, he was denied service, KTVU reported. In a letter to the Oakland police union after the incident, the coffee shop said that “it does not serve the police.”

Hasta Muerte Coffee Shop
Hasta Muerte Coffee social media post (Credit: Screenshot)

Hasta Muerte Coffee, which is Spanish for “until death,” explained the situation in a lengthy social media post that shows a crossed-out Oakland police seal and badge with the words “Habla con tu vecinxs no con la policia.” or “Speak with your neighbors, not the police.” The cafe identifies as “Latinx,” which is a gender-inclusive term for the word “Latino.”

The coffee shop’s post made claims concerning minority officers. “OPD’s [Oakland Police Department’s] 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,” it read. “The facts are that poc [people of color], 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.”

Oakland Police Department makes history with the first female selected to the Tactical Operations Entry Team (Credit OPD Facebook)

However, according to the New York Post, this ban on law enforcement sparked widespread criticism online. “The post was panned online, with some social media users pointing out that the coffee shop refused to serve a sergeant who is also the president of the Latino Police Officers Association of Alameda County,” it was reported.

Supporters of law enforcement descended on the coffee shop’s Yelp page to leave negative reviews which caused the owners of Hasta Muerte Coffee to become upset, saying: “cop supporters are trying to publicly shame us online with low reviews.” As the supporters of the police officers organized, they took the fight right outside the coffee shop. “A group of right-wing demonstrators protested outside Oakland’s Hasta Muerte Coffee, waving American flags and chanting pro-Trump and pro-police slogans,” SF.eater.com reported.

Jose Ortiz, who owns a nearby restaurant, doesn’t agree with what Hasta Muerte Coffee was doing to police officers (Credit: YouTube)

Oakland residents agreed with those waving “Blue Lives Matter” flags. “I don’t think it’s fair – they should [serve cops],” said Mildred Jelks of Oakland. “They’re protecting them. If somebody breaks in there, who are they gonna call? The police.” It’s a surprise to other residents as well. “I don’t know what they got against them,” said Roberto Lopez. Another resident, who wished only to be identified as “T,” agreed, saying, “I think it’s cold-blooded. I don’t understand that.”

Jose Ortiz, an immigrant from Puerto Rico who owns a restaurant near the coffee shop, said he doesn’t believe businesses should support a political platform. “That is a slap in the [cops] face,” he said. “Because at one point they are gonna need a police officer. So, when somebody go over there and puts a gun in their head and robs them, they’re gonna have to call 911.”

Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo said he did not agree with the policy. “My understanding is they’re not going to serve police officers,” Gallo said. “I don’t agree with that, 100 percent. I think we need to work together, not against each other.”

Becoming a police officer in Oakland is something only the very brave and dedicated would ever do. Your chance of being a victim of violent crime in Oakland, California is 1 in 77, nearly three times higher than the state of California at large, according to a statistical analysis of FBI crime data. In fact, according to reports, once willing to defund police, Oakland now faces a major violent crime wave, and those wearing the badge are the last line of defense and surely deserve a cup of coffee without prejudice.