Oakland activists converged on City Hall yesterday to to demand the arrest of the white woman who called police on a Black family barbecuing in a popular park.
The woman (who online sleuths claim to have identified) verbally harassed a family, called police, was confronted by bystanders who told her she was wrong, and then burst into tears when officers arrived on the scene.
Before police entered the area, she said she was concerned because the family was using a charcoal grill in an area that was for propane grills only. When police officers arrived, she cried and said she was being harassed.
The viral video has produced a parade of memes, but for the Oakland activists at City Hall yesterday, it was no laughing matter.
Journalist Davey D said in an Instagram post that the woman not only threatened the family with calling the cops, but also hurled the n-word.
Last night Oakland City Hall was packed.. This is the homie Kenzi.. He was one of the people who was BBQing at Lake Merrit when a white woman named Jennifer Schulte came up and harassed him and his family for 2 hours.. … Mind u Kenzi has bbqed at the Lake in the same location since he was a kid when his family would take him there..He was carrying the tradition with his family… Jennifer the white woman told Kenzi and his family it was illegal to BBQ there.. It was not.. and there are no signs saying otherwise.. … The woman threatened to have him disappeared by the police if he didn’t stop.. She called him a nigga and told him he didn’t belong at the Lake.. Kenzi thought she was a nutcase and pretty much laughed her off vs acting I’ll until she actually called the police and said she was being attacked by a Black man at the Lake.. …. The police who ignored the first phone call that Jennifer made two hours earlier because stopping people from Bbqing was not a priority, came within minutes of this second call.. The reason why was because Jennifer lied and told the police she was in a confrontation.. She wasn’t.. what upset her was the family started filming her…and another white woman called her out.. When police came Jennifer busted into tears and played the role of the victim .. the police were ready to take her side until the other white woman showed police the footage and explained what happened… During the city hall council meeting Kenzi explained that no one from City Hall called him or his family or saw to it that the woman who blatantly lied and misused police resources was arrested, fined and held accountable.. Kenzi said it was a shame someone born and raised in the city should feel unsafe to use the Lake because of a newcomer willing to lie and call police.. It was pointed out the root of the problem is police and the hostile relationship they have often with Black and Brown folks .. . The city council was urged to draft a law fining and arresting folks who make false calls and reports to the police.. Also Kenzi did finish BBQing after police left in spite of news reports that said he was made to leave… #bbq #lakemerritt #oakland
“The woman threatened to have him disappeared by the police if he didn’t stop.. She called him a n***a and told him he didn’t belong at the Lake,” he wrote.
No one else has mentioned that detail, but other activists at the rally certainly believe that race was a major factor in why the police were called in the first place.
“This is a consequence of something City Hall put in motion over a year ago because white folks said that Black people and brown people being loud is a scary dangerous thing and they don’t want it in their Oakland anymore,” said Oakland mayoral candidate Cat Brooks.
“Everybody should be treated equally. They should feel safe in the city,” said Michelle Snider who filmed the viral video and confronted the complainant who called police on the barbecuing man.
Carroll Fife, founder of Black Women and Elected Leadership, said in an interview with East Bay Times that officials have to hold people accountable for wasting public resources.
“We don’t know if she called 911 or non-emergency services and that’s what we’re asking City Council to investigate and let us know. We want to know the details. If she abused resources then she needs to be held accountable for that,” she said.
The protest was called “Grill Your Government.” Activists asked that City Council draft legislation to that punishes people who call emergency services in non-emergency situations.
A “BBQ’N While Black” event will take place this Sunday at on Lakeshore Avenue at Lake Merritt, the site of the incident. If it’s anything like the previous gathering held shortly after the incident, angry white women who hate the sight of Black people grilling will have plenty of police calls to make.