Four months after a white woman called the police on a black family having a BBQ in a park, the 911 audio of the call has been released.
Jennifer Schulte, known on the internet as ‘BBQ Becky’ for her viral video, was given a psychiatric evaluation by a police operator, and hesitated in giving away identifiable details about what she looked like.
The call, which was obtained by KTVU, demonstrates that Schulte was unwilling to state her race to the dispatcher, who also enquired about her mental health.
Video of Jennifer Schulte captured by Michelle Snider in the park on 29 April shows her calling the police after claiming the men were using a charcoal grill instead of a non-charcoal grill in one of Lake Merritt’s designated zones.
In the 911 call, you can hear the reason she calls the police:
So that coals don't burn more children and we don't have to pay more taxes.
The dispatcher can be heard asking for information about the men, what they look like, their race – ‘African American’ – before getting off the phone.
Two hours later, Schulte calls back in a noticeably distressed tone at odds with previous footage of her.
Schulte: 'I was wondering when the police are going to come and help me!'
A female dispatcher asks for her address, and then appears confused by the situation. She asks: 'What's the panic over a barbecue? I don't understand.’
So why are you in an argument with these people? Can you walk away?
Unidentified people are yelling in the background, with one woman repeatedly asking Schulte to ‘give me back my card. Give me back my property.’
Eventually, the dispatcher asks for her name, which she is reluctant to give. The dispatcher asks her what she’s wearing, and after griping, she says she’s wearing a dark blue navy sweatshirt and jeans.
When the dispatcher asks for her race, she says:
My race doesn’t matter.
The dispatcher responds, ‘It does matter. How are we going to find you? Just any lady? Are you black or are you white?’
Schulte: ‘It doesn’t matter. I want the police to come I’ve been waiting two hours for them.’
Dispatcher: ‘How are they going to find you?’
Schulte: ‘They usually call your cell phone when they’re here.’
Dispatcher: ‘I’m talking to you right now. Have you ever been to John George?’
Schulte: ‘What’s John George?’
Dispatcher: ‘It’s a mental facility.’
Dispatcher: ‘Ok, then. Please answer my question. They’re coming to you right now.’
The police report indicates that police evaluated her for 51-50 psychiatric hold, but determined ‘she didn’t fit the criteria.’ The hold allows California police to take a person into custody for up to 72 hours to evaluate their mental state.
Lake Merritt has six designated barbecue zones, three for charcoal grills and three for non-charcoal grills.
The family were using the incorrect grill in the area, however it is not illegal to do so.