The owner of a coffee shop has been forced to shut down her business following backlash over her daughter’s anti-police remarks on Facebook.
Kato Mele decided to shutter the White Rose Coffeehouse in Lynn, Massachusetts just a week after the controversy erupted, saying she made the decision ‘so I can stop being harassed’.
The uproar started when Mele’s 23-year-old daughter Sophie, who works as a manager at the coffeehouse, said on Facebook that the cafe would never host a ‘Coffee With A Cop’ event and went on to call police racists and bullies in the subsequent discussion thread.
Coffee With A Cop is a nationwide movement to build trust between police departments and the citizens they serve.
Kato Mele (left) made the decision to shutter the White Rose Coffeehouse after her daughter Sophie (right), who works there as a manager, made anti-police remarks on Facebook
The coffee shop in Lynn, Massachusetts had been open for about a year
Sophie, who works as a manager at the coffee shop and is the daughter of the owner, sparked a backlash after writing that she would never allow a Coffee With A Cop event in the cafe
In a lively discussion on Facebook, Sophie described her views as ‘adamantly anti-cop’
‘I will gladly host a “meet an ex-con” or “meet the impoverished minority community” event,’ Sophie wrote in comments that have since been deleted, but copies of which were obtained by DailyMail.com. ‘I’m not going to promote any pro-police event because I’m adamantly anti-police.’
She went on to call cops ‘bullies’ who uphold an ‘inherently violent, oppressive and unjust system’.
The remarks spread quickly across the Internet and sparked a massive backlash, with many who took issue with the anti-police sentiment leaving scathing online reviews for the coffeehouse.
Sophie responded by offering an apology for her remarks on Facebook.
But as the furor grew, her mother Mele fired her from the manager position at the coffee shop.
The online cries for blood continued, however, and Mele penned a heartfelt apology letter published by the local newspaper.
The White Rose Coffeehouse, which shares its name with a historical anti-Nazi movement from 1930s Germany, appeared eager to signal its political stance in this image from August
Sophie expressed her views on police officers in a series of controversial comments
‘The White Rose Coffee House publicly acknowledges and apologizes to all Law Enforcement agencies and specifically the Lynn Massachusetts Police Department for the reprehensible affront, distasteful, biased and hateful remarks made by the manager of the White Rose on a personal Facebook page,’ the letter began.
‘As a beginning, I invite interested Lynn law enforcement to visit the White Rose on Monday, Oct. 16, or anytime, to help us make amends,’ Mele wrote.
But the cops didn’t show up, and neither did most of her regular customers.
With business dwindling and the online abuse showing no signs of letting up, Mele decided to close shop before the week was out.
‘I would just say that my daughter had every right to say something as stupid as she said, every American has the right to say something as stupid as she said,’ Mele told WCBV on Thursday.
‘I don’t agree with what she said. It is not my opinion,’ she said.