Peace, Love, and Coffee

A diary of the wonderful and wacky goings on at Coffee to the People, an independent coffeehouse located at 1206 Masonic Avenue in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, California.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Cop Vandalizes Coffee to the People

If you've ever been to CTTP, you know that we have a large wall in the middle of the store covered with progressive bumperstickers. They say things like, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism," ""War doesn't show who's right, just who's left," and "Ignore your rights and they'll go away." In the interests of building community, we invite visitors to contribute their own stickers to the wall as well. Recent additions by the public include, "Paint the tv black" and "There are no terrorists. We are being manipulated with hate." All in all, we have been very pleased with the response to the wall. People generally seem to understand the sentiment involved and don't post hateful or inappropriate speech. That is, until this weekend.

The first thing we noticed was the sticker which read, "Junior SFPD officer." That's strange, we said. That's not in keeping with the spirit of the wall. That's not representative of the beliefs of our customers. Besides, who, other than a child, would have a sticker like that? We shrugged it off and took the sticker down.

The next day an SFPD officer came to our shop and sheepishly explained that he had written on our wall. We looked and there it was. On the "Support your local revolution" sticker, he had crossed out revolution and written in "police".

Needless to say, we were appalled. For months people have been warning us about leaving our bathrooms unlocked because of the danger of vandals and telling us we should have bars on our windows and doors at night because of graffiti, but in the end it turns out it's the cops, not the people who consititute the greatest threat in our neighborhood.

So, why'd the cop fess up? It turns out that he was bragging about his escapades to his fellow officers and someone had the good sense to see this could turn into a public relations nightmare. His senior officer visited the shop later and apologized for the incident. He even took pictures of the defaced wall and filed a formal report.

Fortunately, the sticker cleaned up pretty nicely and you can't really tell what happened unless you look at it up close. Still, we plan to be much more vigilant when the SFPD visits from now on.


At 11/17/2005 11:17:00 AM, Anonymous Lloyd D Budd said...

The deeds of an individual might not represent the group. Am I referring to the vandal or his senior officer?

At 3/23/2008 06:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the wall is free for all speech and comment, I assume it reflects the owner/worker's personalities. Perhaps you should be more accepting of people who error (it is human) and stop eyeing the cops (as you suggest) and appreciate them for what they do. They are the ones who volunteer to keep the world safe for opinion walls such as yours.

At 11/18/2008 05:10:00 AM, Anonymous Robert Medford said...

Wow... To make a big deal about this. I have been a regular customer to CTTP and I disagree with a lot of things on that wall, but to not support our local SF Police? Come on.. We are all on the same team here. Support our local Indie Coffee Shops (CTTP) and our SF Police!

At 4/16/2011 02:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the sfpd are making WAAAY too much $ money to be hanging out on the Haight tagging up coffee shops and getting in trouble. They are extortionists and bullies. And its ridiculous.


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