After the successful community cookout in Wichita, Kansas, many police departments have been trying to implement the same type of community events. However, several protesters in Oakland feel that a barbecue is not enough to end police brutality.
The “First Steps Cookout” in Wichita acted as a way for activists and officers to come together over a meal and engage in a conversation about the tensions between police and the Black community.
On Wednesday, protesters locked themselves to the Oakland Police Officers' Association offices in a way to encourage the city to divest from the police department. Officers of the Oakland Police Department invited the Black Lives Matter protesters to their community barbecue, but they were met with resistance.
“Barbecues aren’t going to stop the brutality that Black folks are facing. A barbecue is definitely not going to stop this blockade,” said Karissa Lewis, a “Black-liberal farmer” and protester with Black Lives Matter. “As a radical-bBack farmer from East Oakland — I eat pigs, I don’t eat with them."
Most of the protesters supported Lewis and her answer, yet Oakland police officers say that their offer remains on the table.