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.
“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.
“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.