Four months after the incident, the 911 audio of BBQ Becky’s frantic phone call has been released to the public.
The woman made headlines when, on April 29, she tried to call the cops on an African American family that was having a barbecue at a park in Oakland, California.
Jennifer Schulte was filmed claiming that two African American men were illegally using a charcoal grill in a non-charcoal grill zone on Lake Merritt.
In her first call, Schulte wanted the situation “dealt with immediately,” reasoning, “so that coals don’t burn more children and we don’t have to pay more taxes.”
Her second call to 911, two hours later, was more frantic and claimed that she was being harassed, although a voice in the background cut in shouting that Schulte was the one harassing people.
“What’s the panic over a barbecue? I don’t understand,” the dispatcher could be heard asking. “So why are you in an argument with these people? Can you walk away?”
“I’m really scared! You gotta come quick!” Schulte insists.
After the dispatcher informed her that police were on the day, Schulte even got into an argument with the dispatcher when she refused to divulge her name, race, and what she was wearing.
Schulte claimed that her race wasn’t important, to which the female dispatcher asked how the police were going to identify her.
At one point, the dispatcher even asked Schulte if she had ever been to John George. When Schulte asked what John George was, the dispatcher said it was a mental facility, to which Schulte vehemently answered, “No!”
The conversation see-sawed with the dispatcher for several more minutes with Schulte threatening to hang up before finally giving up the information that the dispatcher was asking for.
A bystander named Michelle Snider filmed the whole scene. When police finally arrived, Schulte moved away to talk to officers at a convenience store.
When she noticed Snider following, Schulte immediately broke down in front of the cops and claimed that she was being harassed.
Police managed to talk to both the African American family and Schulte and the situation was amicably resolved with no citations given.
As to the source of the argument, Lake Merritt has six designated barbecue zones. Three of those zones permit the use of charcoal grills while the other three are for “non-charcoal portable grills.”
The African American family was indeed using the incorrect type of grill for the zone that they were in. However, it is not illegal to do so.
Speaking to Huffington Post, Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney said: “In a city that needs significant policing services, we can’t have those precious expensive resources squandered in a frivolous way.
“Police are not a private security for any white person that’s offended by the presence of African Americans in our public spaces.”
Schulte’s frantic 911 call and antics have earned her the nickname “BBQ Becky” and has become a meme.
“We will do our part to lean into the conversation thoughtfully and [make sure] that the activities of African Americans aren’t being overly policed,” McElhaney added.
BBQ Becky joins the ranks of people such as Coupon Carl, Permit Betty, and Permit Patty, just to name a few, who have called the police on black people who were just doing the things that normal people do such as sitting in Starbucks, participating in a college tour, and taking a nap in a campus lounge.
Permit Patty was the one who called the police on an eight-year-old African American girl for selling bottles without a permit. Pool Patrol Paula, on the other hand, was arrested after assaulting a 15-year-old African American teen at a South Carolina pool.