The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is set to vote on legislation that will allow hate-crime statutes to apply to those who may call 911 based on racial bias. The law is a response to several incidents including one in which a White woman called police on a Black family barbecuing in a San Francisco park and another who called the police on an 8-year-old Black girl selling water bottles in the park. Applying hate-crime statutes will give victims of non-emergency racially biased calls the ability to sue the offenders in civil court.
The title of the legislation is a bit on the nose…The Caution Against Racial and Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act, otherwise known as CAREN.
Shamann Walton, the supervisor who introduced the legislation, said that “911 calls and emergency reports are not customer service lines for racist behavior. People of color have the right to do everyday activities and should not be subject to being harassed due to someone’s racial bias.”
Walton, who is Black, reeled off examples of people of color being targeted by bogus accusations, including Emmett Till, a Black teenager beaten to death in 1955 after allegations by a white woman who later admitted to lying.
The legislation has unanimous support and is expected to pass.