NY state senator wants to criminalize calling 911 on law-abiding black people
A Democratic New York state lawmaker proposed legislation this week to make it a hate crime to call 911 on law-abiding people of color.
State Sen. Jesse Hamilton’s proposal would allow people to be prosecuted if they place racially motivated calls to police without evidence of malice, The Patch reported Wednesday.
“That’s gonna be a hate crime,” Hamilton said. “This pattern of calling the police on black people going about their business and participating in the life of our country has to stop.”
The African-American lawmaker’s new bill comes a week after a self-described supporter of President Trump called the cops on him for handing out anti-Trump fliers in Brooklyn.
Hamilton’s legislation would strength existing New York laws that prohibit making false reports — especially if police respond to said 911 call with the expectation that the person is posing a serious threat, The Patch reported.
The proposed legislation comes amid a series of highly publicized incidents of police being called on black people who are not committing a crime.
A black man who is the owner of a high-end lemonade stand in San Francisco said he had the police called on him when he was opening his own business last month.
A black former White House staffer to President Obama had the police called on him for burglary while moving into his new New York City apartment in May.
A viral video from April captured two black men who were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks for sitting in the cafe without ordering anything — setting off nationwide backlash.
“Waiting for your friends at a Starbucks is not a 911 call,” Hamilton told the news outlet. “It’s a call of intimidation.”