Woman harassed, threatened after daughter's Facebook post against police

White Rose Coffeehouse in Lynn, Boston.
White Rose Coffeehouse in Lynn, Boston. Photo credit: YouTube

When a café owner's daughter spoke out against police brutality in a Facebook post, she never expected her mother's business would be forced to close as a result.

Sophie CK, a manager at her mother's White Rose Coffeehouse in Lynn, Boston, said she'd "never allow a 'coffee with a cop' to take place" at her the café.

'Coffee with a cop' began in California in 2011 as a way for police officers to get to know their local community, and vice versa.

"Citizens do not need to humanise police officers, police officers need to humanise citizens, particularly black citizens why they seem to struggle with doing considering they keep murdering them," Sophie wrote on Facebook.

"I will not be part of the false rhetoric that cops are just misunderstood good guys... They uphold an unjust system and murder without consequence."

When her mother Kato Mele saw the posts, she ordered Sophie to delete them, which she did - but it was too late. A swarm of angry commenters took to the White Rose Coffeehouse Facebook page, leaving hundreds of bad reviews and comments, ruining the café's five-star rating.

The café's phone rang constantly with abuse, rape threats, and death wishes.

"People are targeting us for the stupid opinion of a 23-year-old," Kato told The Boston Globe.

"If I had social media when I was 23, I don't know what I would have done. We're all dumb at 23."

Local police tried to shut the story down, stating they respect Sophie's right to say whatever she wants on her personal Facebook page.

"My sense is that most officers will avoid the establishment, but that is their choice," the police chief said.

Kato fired her daughter from the café and released a public apology for the "reprehensible affront, distasteful, biased and hateful remarks made by the manager of the White Rose on a personal Facebook page".

She invited law enforcement and customers to a special event to make amends, but when no one showed up, she decided to close the establishment.

"What I have here is a family business that has no family," she told The Boston Globe.

"Maybe I could weather this. But this used to be a place of joy for me, and I don't see a way that I will ever feel that way again."

Less than a week after her daughter's post, Kato has packed up the leftover food and sent it to homeless shelters.

She's even selling her apartment to ensure all her vendors can be paid for the full month.

"I've lost my business and I've lost my daughter...I don't know how this story just keeps building, but I need people to leave me alone," she said.

"I'm closing my business so I can stop being harassed."