If you are a sworn police officer in Oakland, do not bother going to Hasta Muerte Coffee.
A Latino police sergeant, who is also the president of the Latino Police Officers Association of Alameda County, was turned away March 8, and its owners are defending the decision, claiming it is to protect the “physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.”
KTVU was first to report the story.
“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,” Hasta Muerte posted on Instagram.
“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.”
“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.”
The sergeant who was denied service told NBC Bay Area that he is hoping to “build a better relationship” with the shop and would like an opportunity to speak with the employees.
The news is not sitting well with local business owners in the neighborhood. Jose ‘Cheo’ Ortiz, formerly of Puerto Rico and owner of La Perla restaurant, is outraged.
“For them, to refuse service to a police officer from our community is totally outrageous,” said Ortiz.
“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.”