As white people continue to call police on Black people for doing mundane activities, a white woman in Oakland, California, followed the trend by calling cops on a Black man for using a charcoal grill in a designated BBQ area.
In a video recorded by Michelle Snider, an unidentified woman along Lake Merritt’s East Bay, told police a Black family cannot have the grill in the designated BBQ zone.
Kenzie Smith, a witness, said she heard the woman use racial slurs and threaten the family with jail.
“I got out of the car at Cleveland Cascade stairs, and when I walked across the street, she was standing there on the phone. She said, ‘Oh great another [n-word],’” Smith told local outlet the Panther Times. “She said that we were trespassing, we were not welcome, and then she turned back around said, ‘Y’all going to jail.'”
However, when Snider, a white woman, approached the self-proclaimed grill vigilante, her demeanor changed and she played the victim.
“I hear you have a problem with these gentlemen having a barbecue here at the lake. What’s going on?” asked Snider while recording.
After the woman delivers a line about charcoal grills being a danger to children, Snider snapped back.
“Are you sure it’s not because you don’t want black people out here?” Snider asks.
“It seems like a new Jim Crow going on, because for some reason, every time I see this it’s Black people being targeted for barbecuing at the lake,” Snider said. “And you’re a perfect example of it right now. It’s two men, sitting out here just chilling. And this whole setup is real clean. They’re not even playing music.”
Eventually police arrived on scene and the woman claimed she was being harassed, both physically and emotionally. In the end, no citations or arrests were made. Additionally, an Oakland official made a post to Facebook about calling police for emergency purposes only.
"I think it is really incumbent on all of us that when we call police, it is for emergency purposes," Oakland City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney wrote in a recent Facebook post, suggesting that people in the park find better ways for resolving a disagreement than calling law enforcement. "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.”
You can watch the entire 25-minute long video below.