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Calling the police on minorities could become a hate crime if New York bill passes

New York state Sen. Jesse Hamilton authored a bill that would make it a hate crime to call the police on a law-abiding minority. (Image source: The Hill video screenshot)

New York state Sen. Jesse Hamilton has proposed a bill that would make calling the police on a law-abiding minority a potential hate crime, Patch reported.

Last week, a supporter of President Donald Trump called the police on Hamilton, who was handing out anti-Trump materials in his district.

"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 New York Post reported that the woman called 911 and complained about Hamilton's stance on Trump's immigration policies.

More about the bill

Hamilton's bill targets situations like the one that took place at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, where two black customers were arrested because they were in the coffee shop without purchasing anything while waiting on a friend to arrive.

In a situation like that, if the minority victim feels that the call was racially motivated, he or she could report that to the police, who would then investigate whether the call was justified and whether it was motivated by race.

The consequences could be even more serious if the person who calls the police unjustifiably indicates that the minority could be a threat, which could endanger that person unnecessarily.

"You shouldn't have your life put in danger due to ignorance," said Anthony Beckford, a local copwatch patrol unit leader who is running for state office.

Hamilton made sure to note that according to his bill, a caller would not be charged if there is good reason to believe a person is a threat — even if it turns out the person was not a threat at all.

For example, the people who called 911 on a black man who was wielding a pipe that looked like a gun would not be in danger of prosecution, since the man actually looked like a threat. He was shot and killed by police.

(H/T The Hill)

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