SF Lawmaker: CAREN Act 'Is the CAREN We Need'

The legislation would ban racially biased 911 calls
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2020 1:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – A San Francisco lawmaker wants to deploy "CAREN" against people making racially motivated calls to 911. Supervisor Shamann Walton introduced the ordinance Wednesday, calling it the "CAREN Act," for Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies. The San Francisco Chronicle describes the name as an "apparent nod to the popularized slang name that refers to an entitled white woman complaining about people of color"—Karen. "This is the CAREN we need," Walton tweeted. He said the measure would update the city's police code to outlaw "false racially biased emergency reports."

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The move follows several well-publicized incidents of biased 911 calls around the country, including one in New York City, where a woman will be charged after falsely claiming a Black man was threatening her. Walton says the measure is "part of a larger nationwide movement to address racial biases and implement consequences for weaponizing emergency resources with racist intentions," CBS reports. Similar bills penalizing people for calling 911 for biased reasons have been introduced in Washington, New York, and Oregon. (The victim in the Central Park case says he doesn't see the need to bring "more misery" to Amy Cooper.)

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