A few weeks ago, a black family was barbequing in the park in Oakland, CA when a white woman called the police to complain the family was in violation of the park rules.
Another woman, Michelle Snider, recorded the incident as it was happening; and she told KRON-TV, “This is exactly what is the problem with Oakland today. This lady wants to sit here and call the police on them for having a barbecue at the lake as if this is not normal.”
The white woman who was complaining about the black family told Snider that it’s “illegal” to use charcoal grills in that section of the park and threatened the family with prison. Snider’s husband, Kenzie Smith said, “She said that we were trespassing, we were not welcome, and then she turned back around and said, ‘Y’all going to jail.’”
The white woman called the police, stayed on the phone with them, and complained the cops weren’t responding in a timely manner.
While recording the incident, Snider, who is white, mocked the woman saying she was “the f*cking coal Nazi police,” and continually asks the woman to return a card she took from Snider’s hand. The white women told police dispatchers she was being threatened by the family in an effort to hasten the police response.
The woman started to leave the scene but she remained on the phone, and Snider continued to record what was happening. The woman crossed the street and went into a convenience store as Snider pressed her time and again to return the card. The white woman refused to give Snider her card, started to cry and told dispatchers, “I’m being harassed.”
Finally a police officer arrived and asked Snider to stand back as he questioned the sobbing white woman who told him, “I reported over two hours ago some people were illegally grilling in the park with a charcoal grill where they’re not supposed to, I was waiting there for a response because I was told they’re coming. After two hours, I just called back the non-emergency line, and in the interim these people came up and started harassing me, physically pushing me.”
Snider denied being physical — you can see from the video she never pushed the woman — and said she wanted her card back.
It is against park rules to barbeque in that section of the park but calling it “illegal” is stretching it. The police took a report but didn’t issue citations or make arrests.