Man 'BBQ Becky' Reported to Cops for 'Grilling While Black' Is Now Running for City Council

A man who had the police called on him for "barbecuing while black" has launched a campaign to run for city council in Oakland, California.

Kenzie Smith was having a barbecue with friends and family in Lake Merritt Park in Oakland in May when a white woman, dubbed "BBQ Becky," called the cops and reported Smith for grilling with charcoal.

The incident was caught on camera by Smith's wife Michelle Snider, who told local publication The Panther Times that the woman informed the family she had reported them to the police.

"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.

The incident quickly went viral, and prompted a string of "BBQing while black" events in the very same park, drawing mass support and large crowds.

Following the high-profile incident, 37-year-old Smith was nominated for a position on the Park and Recreation Advisory Committee by Oakland Council member Rebecca Kaplan, Bustle reported, and has since announced that he's set to run for city council in District 2.

Smith, who officially started campaigning over the weekend, told Mother Jones he wanted to raise awareness and encourage people to vote, focusing on inspiring young people to get involved rather than winning the race.

He is campaigning on a platform of education, employment, homelessness and renters' rights, and has already begun working on building up staff and getting signatures in order to receive campaign donations.

"Win, lose, or draw, it doesn't really matter. That's not what it's about," Smith told Mother Jones.

"What it's about is trying to get these young voters to vote, to actually have their voice heard, and also to continue to inspire the younger generation to say, 'If he can do it, then I can do it, too,'" he added.

Meanwhile, the woman who called the cops on the barbecue was not only the subject of a viral video, but saw herself becoming a meme on social media—featuring the image of her calling the cops on multiple events and black cultural institutions.

Correction: This headline was updated to add a reference to BBQ Becky.