Should Baseless 911 Calls Be Hate Crimes?

Jun 2014
61,620
35,969
Cleveland, Ohio
#1
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.

*Snip*
https://www.thedailybeast.com/ny-lawmaker-wants-to-make-calling-cops-on-innocent-black-people-a-hate-crime

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.

Your thoughts?
 
Likes: 1 person
Nov 2010
23,156
14,835
#3
https://www.thedailybeast.com/ny-lawmaker-wants-to-make-calling-cops-on-innocent-black-people-a-hate-crime

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.

Your thoughts?
Don't think it should fall under hate crimes but there should be consequences for bogus calls to police, particularly excessive ones. You don't want to deter people from calling if something appears wrong, but its most definitely abused
 
Likes: 3 people

HCProf

Council Hall
Sep 2014
28,855
18,312
USA
#4
I think it would discourage people from calling 911 if they truly need it. Same with bogus ambulance calls. We have people who call for ambulances who just want a ride to the hospital or for a STD. From what I understand, a cop or paramedic will say something if the call is meant to harass or just ignorant.
 
Likes: 1 person
Jun 2014
61,620
35,969
Cleveland, Ohio
#5
These calls are recorded. Most simply say "black people are in the library" or words to that effect. Seems more or less self-proving to me.

But as with any crime, the state would have the burden of proof. Any doubts would be resolved in favor of the caller.

I just resent the hell out of the fact that most such racists suffer no consequences for their bad behavior.
 
Likes: 2 people
Nov 2014
31,620
6,090
North Carolina
#6
https://www.thedailybeast.com/ny-lawmaker-wants-to-make-calling-cops-on-innocent-black-people-a-hate-crime

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.

Your thoughts?
If it can be proven there was a "racial" motivation for the harassment then why not use it to enhance the charge? So I don't really see a problem with it as a matter of law. A person's motives and state of mind are certainly elements of the crime.
 
Likes: 3 people

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
76,724
45,951
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
#7
Misuse of 911 or any other emergency reporting system is already a crime. Enhanced sentencing for hate as a motivation might help dissuade those having such a motivation from doing it.
 
Likes: 8 people
Apr 2012
60,331
45,488
Englewood,Ohio
#8
These calls are recorded. Most simply say "black people are in the library" or words to that effect. Seems more or less self-proving to me.

But as with any crime, the state would have the burden of proof. Any doubts would be resolved in favor of the caller.

I just resent the hell out of the fact that most such racists suffer no consequences for their bad behavior.
I had a TV technicion at me house one day. Somehow he accidently called 911. I had a phone call asking if I had dialed 911. I said no. Couple of minutes later Police showed up at my door asking who the man was outside of my house. I told them it was the TV installer. They asked if they might come in,went all the way through my house. I called later and apologized, as he was leaving the TV guy said that had happened to him before!

They know exactly who and where you are!
 
Likes: 1 person

Chief

Former Staff
Nov 2009
33,139
21,221
SoCal
#9
https://www.thedailybeast.com/ny-lawmaker-wants-to-make-calling-cops-on-innocent-black-people-a-hate-crime

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.

Your thoughts?
I think you have to be careful... the below posts about being hard to prove and also discouraging people from using 911 are probably both accurate. Perhaps maybe adjusting the "filing a false report" rule a bit, moreso than defining a hate crime?
 
Likes: 2 people

Chief

Former Staff
Nov 2009
33,139
21,221
SoCal
#10
Misuse of 911 or any other emergency reporting system is already a crime. Enhanced sentencing for hate as a motivation might help dissuade those having such a motivation from doing it.
Maybe its better to have a information campaign about that its illegal to file false reports?

What I am thinking is... what if you see someone breaking into a house. That person is black. You really don't know who they are. Maybe that's their own house and they just got locked out. So you call 911 and the police come. That person is the house owner just getting their own keys back... did you just commit a crime?

The other thing, in addition to working on the false reporting, is working on police engagement. It shouldn't be so dangerous for police to roll up on someone who's innocent. The police need to go slow enough and be methodical enough, that even if there continue to be malicious false reports, everyone will be okay, because they aren't shooting first and asking questions later.
 
Likes: 2 people