One year after ‘BBQ Becky’ incident in Oakland, family wants to ‘stop hate’ with 2nd event

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OAKLAND (KRON) — “This lady wants to sit here and call the police for having a BBQ at the lake as if this is not normal!”

It’s been one year since Jennifer Schulte — the woman known around the world as ‘Barbeque Becky’ — called Oakland Police on a family barbequing at Lake Merritt.

“Went on for three hours and 25 minutes. She kept saying things like, little things to us, like when the police get here, you are going to see, you know, your days are numbered,” said Oakland resident Kenzie Smith.

Smith’s wife took cell phone video that day.

They say ‘Barbeque Becky,’ a white woman, told them they were trespassing and not welcome and told them they’d be going to jail for barbequing — something Smith has done at the lake since he was a kid.

“We were both looking at each other trying to figure out how we were going to get out of the situation,” he said.

No citations and no arrests were given that day, instead a community came together to support each other and sparked a nationwide discussion on biased crime reporting.

Smith is writing a book and now sits on the parks and recreation board for the city.

One year later, he’s hosting an event at the lake to celebrate how far they’ve come since the incident. On May 12 he’s asking everyone to come out, on Mother’s Day, for a family fun event at the lake.

“We want to stop hate,” he said. “Want to stop the intrusiveness. We want to combat all that. We want everyone to understand, we turned a negative into a positive and we are going to continue to do so in Oakland, California.”

Organizers are asking for donations to make sure this is an event that will be free for everybody. If you’d like to donate, click here.

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