Barbecue Becky wasn’t having much luck in her bid to call police on a black family having a cookout in an Oakland park.
The incident gained viral attention earlier this year after the woman, Jennifer Schulte, claimed that the men were illegally using a charcoal grill in a designated grilling zone at the Lake Merritt park. Now, KTVU has released the audio of her frantic 911 call — and the pushback the woman dubbed Barbecue Becky got from the emergency dispatcher.
The audio showed Schulte trying to tell a male dispatcher that she wanted the situation “dealt with immediately,” demanding that police show up to the park to put the kibosh on the cookout. The dispatcher asked for some details about the men, including their race and what they were wearing.
When two more hours passed and police still hadn’t shown up to apprehend the family — even though they were within the designated grilling zone and it is not against the law to use charcoal grills in the non-charcoal zone — Schulte placed an even more frantic call.
As the Daily Mail noted, the woman sounded fearful for her life.
“I was wondering when the police are going to come and help me!” she shouted.
The dispatcher had a difficult time understanding the severity of the situation.
“What’s the panic over a barbecue? I don’t understand,” she asked the woman. “So why are you in an argument with these people? Can you walk away?”
But Schulte only grew more panicked, saying that the family was now following and harassing her. So the dispatcher asked Schulte what she was wearing and her race.
Remember #BBQBecky Jennifer Schulte? The 911 tapes released!— Charles M Paugh (@CMpaugh) September 2, 2018
Dispatcher asked during the call if she'd ever been admitted to a mental health facility and cops responding did a field-level mental health evaluation for a 51-50 hold. https://t.co/2h4NAZS679
Schulte took issue with the request, asking why it was necessary, and the dispatcher explained that it would help police find her. After some more back and forth, the dispatcher asked the caller if she had ever been to John George — a mental facility.
The 911 audio shed new light on the incident that garnered nationwide attention and came amid a string of other incidents of people calling police on black people who were not breaking the law. In another viral video, a woman called police on a black girl who set up a stand to sell water, saying that the girl did not have the proper permit. In another case, someone called police on a group of black women on a golf course, saying they were moving too slowly.
The incident in Oakland led to calls for police to handle situations differently, though Barbecue Becky ultimately got her wish. Police eventually did show up, and the family with the charcoal barbecue was questioned for close to an hour.