Residents hold cookout at park where white woman called cops on black family barbecue


Area residents had a massive cookout at a park in Oakland, Calif., just two weeks after a white woman called the police on a black family for setting up a charcoal grill in the same park.

Footage captured by local resident Michelle Snider two weeks ago showed an unidentified white woman standing in the park telling a black family she called Oakland police because “it is illegal to have a charcoal grill in the park here.”

Snider’s husband, Kenzie Smith, told KRON-TV that he and a friend were setting up for a weekend cookout, something they have done for decades with their families, when he says they were approached by the woman in the video.

“She said that we were trespassing, we were not welcome, and then she turned back around and said, ‘Y’all going to jail,’ ” Smith told KRON-TV.


In response to the viral incident, videos surfaced online throughout the weekend showing people enjoying the public space with a large cookout in the same park.

“How Black Oakland responds to a white lady calling the cops on Black folks BBQing,” a Twitter user wrote, with a video showing a group people dancing and eating along the water.

According to an official map of the area, there are six designated barbecue locations, three stationary charcoal locations and three non-charcoal portable grill locations, KRON-TV reports.

Snider was charcoal grilling in a noncharcoal grilling location.

Oakland City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney said she believes there are options for residents to respond instead of calling the police in this situation.

“I think it is really incumbent on all of us that when we call police, it is for emergency purposes,” said McElhaney. “I want to encourage people to know when to call the police, when to raise a question of regulations with the City Council, maybe there is a passive way to reach out to us.” 

Tags California Oakland Racism
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