San Francisco officials vote on CAREN act, let people sue over racist 911 calls

All 11 supervisors signed on to the legislation, guaranteeing its passage, despite criticism that the name is sexist and divisive.

10/21/2020 6:15:00 PM

All 11 supervisors signed on to the legislation, guaranteeing its passage, despite criticism that the name is sexist and divisive.

The city's Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday on the Caution Against Racial and Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act, also known as the CAREN legislation.

The Associated PressSAN FRANCISCO — Fed up with white people calling 911 about people of color selling water bottles, barbecuing or otherwise going about their lives, San Francisco leaders unanimously approved hate crime legislation giving the targets of those calls the ability to sue the caller.

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The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday on the Caution Against Racial and Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act, also known as the CAREN legislation. It’s a nod to a popular meme using the name “Karen” to describe an entitled white woman whose actions stem from her privilege, such as using police to target people of color.

All 11 supervisors signed on to the legislation, guaranteeing its passage, despite criticism that the name is sexist and divisive. It comes amid a national reckoning on race sparked by the police killings of Black Americans and instances where white people called for officers to investigate people of color.

“We don’t want what happened to Emmett Till in 1955, or the long history of false accusations of black men and boys in this country, due to weaponizing law enforcement, to threaten, terrorize, and sometimes even kill them, to ever happen again,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton, who introduced the legislation and is Black.

From July:San Francisco lawmaker introduces CAREN Act to crack down on racially motivated 911 calls“I really want to emphasize that 911 is not a customer service line for someone’s racist behavior,” he said.Walton was the only supervisor to speak. Till was a Black teenager beaten to death in 1955 after accusations by a white woman who later admitted to lying.

In May, Amy Cooper, a white woman, called 911 from Manhattan’s Central Park, falsely claiming that a Black man — who had politely asked her to leash her dog — was threatening her. She has been charged with filing a false police report.Fact check:San Francisco's CAREN Act will make racist, nonemergency 911 calls illegal

In San Francisco, a white couple was criticized on social media after video was widely shared of them questioning a Filipino American stenciling “Black Lives Matter” on a retaining wall in front of his home in June. They later called police.James Juanillo said he chose yellow chalk to match the color of the house. When the couple approached him, they repeatedly demanded to know if it was his home because he was defacing private property.

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“They tried to cast it as a criminal scene,” he said. “It was me calmly applying chalk, not spray paint, not in the middle of the night but very deliberately. The only thing that was missing was a pinot grigio.”Supporters of the legislation say it is crushing to be confronted by police because someone saw you as a threat, possibly as a criminal or as not belonging. It’s especially terrifying for Black people, whose encounters with police could end in violence.

“This is not hyperbole,” said Brittni Chicuata, chief of staff for San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission. “This is an established pattern reflected in the disparate treatment of Black people and other people of color in our city and in our country.”

Other places have moved to make placing racist 911 calls a hate crime. California’s governor recently signed a measure making the crime a misdemeanor punishable by jail time and a fine. New York approved legislation allowing the victims of racist 911 calls to sue.

The San Francisco legislation gives people the right to sue a 911 caller in civil court, and supporters hope it will make some think twice before turning to police. The discrimination need not be only racial; it can also be due to the person’s sex, age, religion, disability, gender identity, weight or height.

The legislation does not spell out the standards needed to sue. But it notes that qualifying calls are those that caused the person to feel harassed or embarrassed; damaged the person’s reputation or business prospects; or forced the person from an area where they had a lawful right to be.

Read more: USA TODAY »

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...and people, it’s not an easy life as professional victim. Democrats love passing racist policies. It's Caren with a C not a K.. 😭😭👇 Good luck proving in court that they were “racist 911 calls.” Calling the police for someone doing something potentially illegal should not be discouraged. This is dumb and a waste of time.

Come on this is bullshit. What's next suing toilet paper companies because you can't wipe your ass right

San Francisco supervisors to vote on 'CAREN Act' to discourage racially biased 911 callsSan Francisco supervisors are to vote on a proposal to discourage 911 calls that they say expose people of color to dangerous run-ins with police.

CAREN Act will make racially motivated 911 calls illegal in San FranciscoNew law will prevent racially motivated calls to the emergency services, victims will soon be able to sue the perpetrators

San Francisco Outlaws False, Racist 911 Calls With ‘CAREN Act’The ordinance is meant to deter false and racially motivated 911 calls.

San Francisco Passes CAREN Act To Combat Racist 911 CallsThe Board of Supervisors' unanimous vote will let people sue those who call the police for discriminatory reasons. Imagine if you’re a rapist or garden-variety abuser. You could follow a woman, get close to her and if she catches you & calls 911, she’s the criminal. Keep stalking her. Now she’s too afraid to report you because the cops have threatened her, she’s lost her job & she’s shamed. This probably has a dark side, like it’s a pretty fantastic tool for rapists and other men who would stalk women in the shadows. If she calls the cops before she can prove you were onto her, she’s at risk for losing everything. He could be a real rapist, really following her.

San Francisco Passes CAREN Act To Combat Racist 911 CallsThe Board of Supervisors' unanimous vote will let people sue those who call the police for discriminatory reasons.

San Francisco's 'CAREN Act,' making racially biased 911 calls illegal, is one step closer to becoming a lawThe 'CAREN Act' (Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies) would make it illegal to make discriminatory, racially biased 911 calls in San Francisco 😂🤦🏽‍♂️ 😂😂😂 That should include cops.