A California news station has obtained audio of the 911 placed by a white woman who sought police intervention after seeing two black men using a charcoal grill at Lake Merritt in late April.
In the 911 call obtained by KTVU, a dispatcher can be heard asking the caller, who identified herself as Jennifer Schulte—but the Internet dubbed “BBQ Becky”—her race and if she suffers from mental illness.
However, the first 911 call was fairly tame as Schulte explained the situation to a male dispatcher.
“I’d like to report that someone is illegally using a charcoal grill in a non-designated area in Lake Merritt Park near Cleveland Cascade. I’d like it dealt with immediately so that coals don’t burn more children and we have to pay more taxes,” she said.
But during the second 911 call, placed two hours later, Schulte is challenged by the dispatcher and other parkgoers.
Schulte declines to describe herself to a female dispatcher, which the dispatcher says is necessary for Oakland police to locate her.
“My race doesn’t matter,” Schulte told the dispatcher.
The dispatcher threatens to hang up on Schulte before she finally provides a description of herself. The dispatcher goes on to ask Schulte whether she’s been to “John George,” a local mental health facility. She loudly responds, “No.”
The dispatcher can be also be heard piercingly asking Schulte why someone is yelling “over a barbecue.”
The call ends with Schulte walking towards Brooklyn Avenue as the dispatcher informs her that police are on their way. The Mercury News reported that nobody was cited as a result of the two 911 calls.
Part of the April 29 ordeal was captured in a video shot by Michelle Snider, wife of one of the black men grilling at the park. The man grilling at the park, Kenzie Smith, told KTVU that he asked his wife to record the ordeal after Schulte called the cops on him.
The video went viral, starting a discussion about how black people navigate in public spaces and leading to a “BBQ’N While Black” protest in May.
KTVU noted that they successfully obtained the calls through a through a California Public Records Act request after Oakland initially denied it.
While Schulte declined the news station request for comment, Smith revealed that the incident has encouraged him to run for city council.
[Featured image: Jennifer Schulte/KTVU video screengrab]