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Hasta Muerte Coffee in Oakland, California, has a controversial policy concerning police officers: The shop won’t serve them.

According to KTVU-TV, Hasta Muerte Coffee isn’t your average coffee joint. The station described the outfit as “a worker-owned collective with a decidedly anti-establishment bent.”

In addition to the apparent mentality of those working there, the station also detailed a mural outside of the cafe that decries “fatal police shootings and law enforcement militarization.”

The station reported that it all began when a local police sergeant visited the cafe in order to buy a coffee and introduce himself. The cafe reportedly denied service to the officer.

As a result, the president of the Oakland Officers Association penned a letter to the establishment asking them to clarify their policy of not serving officers.

The cafe posted a copy of the letter on their Instagram page, which read:

I am writing to you in my capacity as President of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association (OPOA). The OPOA is the union representing Oakland Police Officers of all ranks. It has come to my attention that your new coffee shop, Hasta Muerte Coffee at 2701 Fruitvale, Oakland is refusing service to uniformed Oakland Police Officers.

This past weekend, I received a telephone call from an Oakland Police Sergeant, who advised that when he presented himself at your establishment to introduce himself as the district Sergeant and buy a cup of coffee, he was refused service. Hasta Muerte Coffee staff advised him that your establishment does not serve the Police. Obviously, this is both a surprise and a matter of concern for all Oakland Police Officers. Oakland Police Officers work tirelessly every day to serve the residents of our City. I have never heard of Police Officers being refused service by an Oakland business. Therefore, I write to you to clarify your business policy on serving, or indeed not serving, Oakland Police Officers.

Please contact me at the OPOA to inform us of your position. If you would prefer, I am also available to come in person to your business to discuss this matter. I look forward to your prompt reply.

The coffee shop captioned the letter with a follow-up response of their own, claiming that their policy is in place to protect the “physical and emotional safety” of their customers and workers.

The response went on to allege that because they refused service to the officer, cop supporters have tried to publicly shame the cafe online by posting “low reviews”:

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.

KTVU spoke with Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo, who represents the district in which the coffee shop is located.

“My understanding is they’re not going to serve our police officers,” Gallo explained.

He added, “I don’t agree with that, 100 percent. I think we ought to work together, not against each other.”

Many residents whom KTVU spoke with do not believe that the cafe should discriminate against police officers – especially since those officers are the ones keeping their city safe.

While a page for the cafe’s Instagram is still active, it appears at the time of this writing that their Facebook page has been taken down.