Kenzie Smith, left, and Greg Markson. Photograph: Sam Levin for the Guardian
In the second video a day afterward, it was unclear why exactly Sintay had returned.” I cleaned up his shit and then some other shit fell in ,” he said when asked about the tossed belongings, subsequently noting:” This guy has taken a permanent residence here .” He also seemed to defend his actions, saying:” I pick up trash all over the place .”
When the person filming introduced himself and reached out to shake his hands, Sintay appeared to grab the phone and running. At one point, the man who was livestreaming appeared to holler:” I’m being attacked here !”
Greg Markson, the man whose belongings were dumped, told the Guardian that he chose not to pursue charges in the initial incident after he discovered his possessions were trashed. He said he was ready to move on from the incident.
” I’m not going to harp over items that were thrown in the water ,” he said in an interview on Tuesday afternoon, seated in the place at Lake Merritt where Sintay had rifled through his things days earlier. Referencing the clothes and other items people had since donated to him, he added:” People got things replaced … There are only so many routes I can say thank you for that .”
Markson, who also goes by the name Drew or Jru, has long spent hour at this section of the popular Bay Area park, near the site of another recent video that sparked national outrage. In May, a white woman was filmed alerting 911 about two black humen barbecuing, earning her the nickname “BBQ Becky” and adding to the long list of tales of white people calling law enforcement agencies on African Americans doing everyday activities.
Markson said he was confused to find his belongings trashed and didn’t understand why the man would have thrown clothes in the water.
” There are other ways to handle issues ,” he said, adding that he appreciated the outpouring of the assistance provided.” Oakland is home … I feel loved .”
Kenzie Smith, one of the men who was barbecuing when police were called to Lake Merritt, said he was assisting Markson and hoped to get him long-term assist:” We want to transition him from staying here to having his own home .”