Hasta Muerte Coffee, a worker-owner business whose name means “Until Death Coffee” recently opened in Oakland, California. The shop is making a name for itself quite rapidly however but not necessarily in a good way.
On February 16, an Oakland police officer went in while on duty and was informed by the owners that they will not serve police. They informed the officer that they have “a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.”
The murals on the outside of the shop show scenes of brutality and police shootings. They also show the militarization of the police. The public immediately responded.
“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.”
Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo went to the shop to follow up on the incident. He told reporters;
“My understanding is they’re not going to serve police officers. I don’t agree with that, 100 percent. I think we need to work together, not against each other.”
Online responses were a little harsher.
One poster wrote: “Personally I’d feel far LESS safe at a business that refused services to cops. Seems like you’re afraid they’ll find something you don’t want them to see. You are getting crap reviews for a bigoted policy.”
I am in disbelief and speechless that #hastamuertecoffee shop or any establishment would refuse coffee to the people that protect them. I hope people boycott this coffee shop and they go out of business.
— LoveUSA (@Love_USA_Too) March 9, 2018
Another pointed out:
“So what happens if your coffee shop gets robbed?! Who do you call to catch the bad guy? This is great you publicly posted this. It’s shareable. Allows patrons to decide to either promote and support your business/ or tell all their friends to not support your business and share. You’d be amazed how many people do and don’t support the police. Lol.”
— Timothy Bryant (@tljbryant) March 9, 2018
One local resident echoed that sentiment stating, “I don’t think it’s fair – they should [serve police]. They’re protecting them. If somebody breaks in there, who are they gonna call? The police.”
Naturally, the owners of the shop took to social media as well to complain;
“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.”
Here is a statement posted on the Instagram of Hasta Muerte Coffee, in Oakland. pic.twitter.com/9hi9FCTtOP
— Mike (@Fuctupmind) March 9, 2018