White woman calls cops on black family who barbecued in Oakland Park's barbecue area

You know, I guess it would be one thing if a park ranger or cop gave them a ticket for technically not being in the right area for that type of grilling.

But it takes a special kind of asshole to report people for this basically harmless infarction (assuming they were going to properly dispose of everything.) And a special kind of asshole to confront them about it. And a racist kind of asshole using her language. Then again, thinking someone would go to jail because of a PARK INFRACTION, maybe she is… special.

As my mom used to say - worry about yourself, it’s a full time job. Or was it snitches get stitches… I can’t remember exactly…


Don’t forget hanging around for two hours, that’s very special.


I missed that detail. Holy shit. Seriously, I question if she was all there. This sounds like crazy neighbor lady with 50 cats…


I’m sure she also calls the police on all the public drinking and weed smoking white hipsters in Dolores Park, right?


I personllly really dislike grilling in public parks. It’s like very localized stinky smog in the one place that is supposed to be fresh air and clear skies (ban lighter fluid, not charcoal, I say…). That said, I know I’m a gentrifying white crank, and I’m not so confident in my public-land-use preferences that I would commit attempted murder, unlawful detention and public harrassment (i.e. calling the police on black people) about it. Also, grilling doesn’t bother me half as much as the private “cafe” that opened in the park near my house where you can’t sit at the picnic tables unless you’ve purchased their overpriced yuppy-chow…


Woman complains about waste of city resources; proceeds to waste city resources.


It’s really worth a full watch - she snatches the woman’s card (I wish I had the timestamp and I’m too lazy to scroll back) and when the woman is like “Hey, I didn’t say you could keep that” she tries to walk off with it, and gets increasingly distressed culminating to crying to the police that she’s being harassed.


Yeah so there is an ordinance (was it posted?), but her reaction (and tbh I couldn’t watch much more than the first few and the last few) seems pathological. Ease up lady. Easy now, deep breaths.

How about a friendly “hey I think charcoal is supposed to be over there?” “those spots are all filled up, but we’ll be careful to clean up ma’am” “ok cheers just thought you should know” “no worries, thanks! we’ll get here earlier next time!” “wow that smells amazing” “take a leg along with you, I insist” “really? don’t mind if I do”

That has been my experience with dealing with strangers: kindness and courtesy first. But I am a white guy so… (edit to say I am a white guy so I don’t know what it feels like to be racially profiled and harassed, constantly, and have you seen our ‘president’?)
If you are extra nice, you may get a beer out of it and maybe some new friends.


I live maybe ten blocks from that spot. Why are earth did those cops show up!? Burglaries are a self reported crime in Oakland, but cops show up because racist asshole/think of the children nonsense? Oakland is so fucked up!


Just like cops shooting unarmed black people. It happened all the time, but the people reporting that it happened were black and the response by white, mainstream America was: you’re exaggerating, you’re being hysterical, obviously this isn’t true. So it never got reported. Now enough people have cameras to capture these events and suddenly white, mainstream America gets to be aware of it - and often seems to think the country is just now falling apart (and obviously it’s because of Obama having stirred up racial animosity). The irony is that the presence of cameras is, if anything, making racists more careful about what they do in public.


What a menace. It’s really sad that some one as sick as this woman can get away with harassing a family for hours and she’s the one calling the cops.


My experience is that is usually met with a strong negative response. With a slight alteration, however, I usually get a very positive response, like so:

“Hey, you know, the cops have been writing tickets for charcoal barbecues in this area lately.”


I’ve been saying for a while: we’re all Rodney King now that everyone has a pretty amazing video camera in their pocket. Even (gasp!) poor folks! We’re just now seeing how much the police have been shaping the narrative of ‘he came at me like an animal! or it looked like a gun! or ‘he was 10 feet tall with arms like tree trunks’ etc’. The police have yet to adapt to the new reality and white folks in general seem much further behind that.


Better still, blame the popo. I would have said it with a smile and tone of voice like ‘hey man (sniff sniff) hate to bother you but (slight drool) say what IS that wonderful smell? (tummy rumble) uh what was I saying?’


I would have left them alone and not said anything, i’ve been in public spaces where people are doing something they aren’t supposed to be doing but i just leave them be. Unless someone is doing something that’s unsafe i don’t see a need to confront them or embarrass them in public. I tend to be quite non-confrontational though so that’s just my experience/opinion. I do think it’s a good angle to have the conversation with a friendly tip similar of what you said if one does have to say something.


it’s easiest to ignore if it’s being done to not-you, fellow white person.

It could be that they are authoritarian scolds to everyone, but it is only news under certain circumstances.

Is it normal in California to have several designated areas for different kinds of cooking? That seems odd to me. Out here, there are certain areas where no open flames are allowed, but otherwise you can cook however you want.


But you are probably a polite and civil person. Such conflict is unpleasant to you. Some people really get off on having an excuse to boss other people around.
I did not see the details on the complainant, but it is likely that she does not have a happy personal life, and the sight of happy people, gathering as a family, annoys her tremendously.
If you add racism to that, it just makes it worse.
Conjecture, of course. But that has been my experience, generally speaking.


The meeting minutes say the rule was in response to a combination of things: smoke, dumping of coals, big/loud parties, etc.

Setting the fuels and size limit to gas grills under 27” still allows quite a bit of cooking to happen. I BBQd for 25 people last summer on a 20” charcoal grill. Took forever, which led to CFO approval for a bigger one, but in a party-by-the-lake situation that’s a pretty good sized party already.


The weird thing is that the racists aren’t more careful. You can sit there and film their entire racist rants, and they just keep ranting like they can’t even see the phone. It’s like they either don’t think the video isn’t going to end up uploaded to YouTube or they think they’ll somehow come off as the Great Truth-Telling Hero.