#CookingOutWhileBlack: White Woman Calls Cops on Black People Cooking Out in Oakland, Calif., Park

Image for article titled #CookingOutWhileBlack: White Woman Calls Cops on Black People Cooking Out in Oakland, Calif., Park
Screenshot: KRON-TV

This is getting exhausting. Need we remind you on a daily basis the asinine reasons that white people have called the cops on black people over the last couple of weeks? Well, here’s a short recap: #MovingInWhileBlack, #BlackWhileAirbnb-ing, #CouponingWhileBlack, #DiningWhileBlack, #NappingWhileBlack, and now we can’t even have a cookout in the park without someone calling the police.


A family in Oakland, Calif., attempted to enjoy a sunny day at Lake Merritt and decided to bring their grill along for a cookout. Everything was going fine until another parkgoer thought they weren’t following park rules and decided to snitch to the police, according to KRON-TV.

Michelle Snider, a white woman who captured the incident on her cellphone, couldn’t believe what she was witnessing and referred to the woman as the “fucking coal Nazi police.” Snider says that the only thing her husband, Kenzie Smith, and his friends wanted to do was enjoy a day at the park.

“This is exactly what is the problem with Oakland today,” Snider said. “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.”

According to the cookout snitch, charcoal grills weren’t allowed in the section of the park where the family was. The snitch even threatened the family by telling them they were going to jail, 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,’” Smith said.

“I think we need to question the policies that made this woman think ... she had the right to harass people,” Snider said.


Although the park map showed that the family was indeed in the wrong area for grilling, Smith says that he sees people using charcoal grills there all the time. But was it necessary for the unidentified woman to call the police?


No, according to Oakland City Council Member Lynette Gibson McElhaney. McElhaney says that the police should be used for actual emergencies.

“I want to encourage people to know when to call the police, when to raise a question of regulations with the City Council; maybe there is a passive way to reach out to us,” McElhaney said.


And get this: When the police finally arrived, guess whose tears were flowing and who stated that she was being harassed? Of course it was the woman who made the phone call who cried about being harassed by Snider.

“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,” the woman said. “After two hours, I just called back the nonemergency line, and in the interim these people came up and started harassing me, physically pushing me.”


Snider said she didn’t do any such thing. In the end, neither party received a citation, and Snider and Smith were allowed to continue their afternoon cookout. Notice how Snider called her fellow white woman out on her shit? Be more like Snider, white people.



I live a 10 minute walk from this location. Technically, portable charcoal grills are not allowed anywhere around the lake (there are stationary charcoal grills at some locations, and other locations that allow you to bring a non-charcoal grill measuring less than 27" across). They are next to Lakeshore Ave on the right side of the map.


That said, people use charcoal grills here ALL THE FUCKING TIME. As in every single afternoon there are several people using charcoal grills in this exact location. Fuck this bitch. Who stands around for 2 hours to tattle on people enjoying themselves? The cops in Oakland have way more important shit to do than respond to complaints about people having a fucking BBQ (I’m white, I call it a “BBQ” even though I like “cookout” better - I don’t want to steal the cooler terms from black people).

I will be taking my charcoal grill down to this location in short order because screw this lady.