- Jun 2014
- Cleveland, Ohio
A New York state senator has proposed a law that would make it a hate crime to call the police on innocent black people. Jesse Hamilton, who represents the Brownsville, Crown Heights, and Flatbush neighborhoods of Brooklyn, proposed the law after a self-identified supporter of President Trump called the police on him while he was publicly campaigning. The bill would bolster existing laws that already outlaw false reports by also making these reports hate crimes. “This pattern of calling the police on black people going about their business and participating in the life of our country has to stop, ” Hamilton said. He added that the law would not punish people who mistakenly call 911 on someone who seems legitimately threatening. He also said that reporting the false calls would be up to the victims.
In general, I do not favor hate crime enhancement laws. In my view, they cause more problems than they solve. But these fucking cases make my blood boil. Black Americans have been the subject of 911 calls for such innocuous behavior as picnicking in the park, studying in a library, touring a college campus, etc.
I think we do need a way to protect our shared civility from the casual white racists among us who abuse 911 to disrupt the pleasant, ordinary lives of their fellow Americans merely because they are black.
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