Large Cookout Held In Park Where White Woman Called Cops On Black Family Barbecue

A large cookout was thrown in Lake Merritt Park in Oakland, California, just two weeks after a white woman called the police on a black family while they were having a barbecue.

The incident was recorded on video by Michelle Snider, who captured the unknown white woman standing in the designated BBQ zone in the park telling a group of black people she called the Oakland police because "it is illegal to have a charcoal grill in the park here."

"She said that we were trespassing, we were not welcome, and then she turned back around and said, 'y'all going to jail,'" said Snider’s husband, Kenzie Smith, told KRON-TV.

Smith told local publication The Panther Times that the unidentified white woman told them they were going to jail and that she knew her rights.

“She kept saying we were going to jail. She said that she was going to file a complaint for us cooking BBQ in the park. She said she knows her rights, that the rights state if she tells the police if she has a problem with us then we are going to go to jail,” Smith said.

In response to the viral video, a cookout was thrown on Thursday, May 10, at the very same spot the woman called the police on Snider and her friends.

“This how we feel about mad ass Oakland gentrifiers,” Michael Swanson Jr. said, capturing the cookout and people dancing the electric slide during the cookout. The video has been viewed over 320,000 times and has been shared over 7,000 times on Facebook.

Video: Michael Swanson Jr.

Snider and Smith told the local station that they have viewed many people using the area to barbecue for years, but have said the rules of when and where to use the barbecues in the park are unclear. According to an Oakland Parks, Recreation and Youth Development map of the area, there are six locations around Lake Merritt where barbecuing is allowed.

The police did show up to the park, but did not make any arrests or write any citations and let the barbecue continue.

Oakland Mayoral candidate Cat Brooks warned that calling police could raise tensions and make the problem of the matter worse.

“When you engage law enforcement in these kinds of things you are opening the door for things to go very wrong, the potential for arrests like in Philadelphia with those two black men or worse physical assault or death and I don't believe in this day and age that white folks don't know that," she told KRON-TV.

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