A new law in San Francisco – the Caren Act – seeks to eliminate emergency calls motived by discrimination.
The Caren Act – Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies – seeks to fine people up to $1,000 for calling in for supposed “emergencies” after a slew of “Karins” made headlines for calling in 911 claiming they feel “threatened” by POC and BIPOC.
One such incident, now known as the “Central Park birdwatching incident” started because a white woman, Amy Cooper, felt “threatened,” when a Black man, Christian Cooper, asked her to leash her dog – a standard rule in Central Park. Amy Cooper felt threatened, called the cops starting, “There is an African American man – I am in Central Park – he is recording me and threatening myself and my dog…” By the time police had arrived, both Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper had parted ways.
Another incident, the same incident that finally pushed lawmakers to introduce the bill after CEO of cosmetics company LaFace Skincare, Lisa Alexander, assumed a Filipino man, Juanillo, that he did not own his property because of his ethnicity as Filipino. She proceeded to call the cops.
The bill has since been unanimously passed as of October 20th, 2020.
As the press release says, “When law enforcement responds to non-emergency calls as a result of the caller’s prejudice discriminatory views, and racial bias, it diverts resources away from actual emergencies to the unnecessary policing of people of color.”