Police officers are not welcome as customers at one East Oakland cafe, according to a report by local television station.
A post to that cafe’s Instagram account Feb. 22 showed a crossed-out Oakland police seal and badge below the words “Habla con tu vecinxs no con la policia.”
The Eastbay Times reported that an Oakland police officer walked into Hasta Muerte, 2701 Fruitvale Ave., on Feb. 16 and was declined service by a worker-owner because “we have a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.”
Hasta Muerte Is described as a “conscious bookstore and community space.” Kari, one of three owners described in an interview that they want the “autonomy to run a space the way we want and that fits the community we’re apart of. We want to extend the way we move through this world and our beliefs in anti-oppression and anti-racism.”
The post closes with a request for community members, rather than law enforcement, to support the cafe’s safety “[e]specially in an area faced by drug sales and abuse, homelessness, and toxic masculinity as we see here on this block.”
According to a KTVU report Thursday, the cafe had not responded to a letter from the Oakland police union asking about the incident, and cafe staff declined to speak with the TV station’s reporter.
In that report, Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo, who represents the city’s District 5 including its Fruitvale neighborhood, said he spoke with cafe staff, who described their informal policy to him. “I don’t agree with that, 100 percent,” Gallo told KTVU. “I think we need to work together, not against each other.”