This thumbs down goes to an Oakland coffee shop that has made it a policy to refuse service to uniformed police officers in a surly attempt to protect the “physical and emotional safety” of its customers. The policy came to light in mid-February when an Oakland police sergeant visited Muerte Coffee to introduce himself to the owners. But he said he was turned away. According to the Oakland police union, the officer was told that the Fruitvale District store “does not serve the police.” On a social media page, the coffee shop also posted the message: “Habla con tu vecinxs no con la policia” (Talk to your neighbors, not the police).
This practice is not only warped in principle, it’s wrong on the facts. Studies show community policing — where officers walk the streets, developing closer relationships with residents and business owners — leads to fewer reported cases of police brutality and use of excessive force, not more. This is especially true given that, according to the store’s Instagram post, the shop is in “an area faced by drug sales and abuse, homelessness, and toxic masculinity.”
Banning cops — as well as inviting all the bad publicity that comes with this idea — may be a high price to pay for a simple cup of coffee.