A San Francisco supervisor on Tuesday introduced the "CAREN Act" — an ordinance that would criminalize racially motivated 911 calls, KTVU-TV reported.
The full name of Shamann Walton's proposed legislation is Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies, the station said.
Racist 911 calls are unacceptable that's why I'm introducing the CAREN Act at today’s SF Board of Supervisors meeti… https://t.co/5vkIqNiDYm— Shamann Walton (@Shamann Walton)1594157279.0
"Racist 911 calls are unacceptable," he wrote on Twitter in regard to his proposal, adding that "this is the CAREN we need."
"Karen" has become mockingly synonymous with women — usually white women — who confront others without provocation over small issues and sometimes call 911 so police can step in and stop it. Sometimes a "Karen" adds race to the mix when contacting authorities.
"One police call — when it comes to a black male, when it comes to a black person, when it comes to a person of color — can and has led to detrimental consequences, including death," Walton added in a clip aired by KTVU.
The station said the CAREN Act is similar to state Assembly member Rob Banta's Assembly Bill 1550, as it also calls for consequences for those who call 911 based on biases toward race, class, outward appearance, and religion.
Walton said during the board of supervisors meeting that both measures "are part of a larger nationwide movement to address racial biases and implement consequences for weaponizing emergency resources with racist intentions," KTVU reported.
Quite a few folks love it
While some observers are concerned that such a law will lead to people not calling 911 when police assistance is truly needed, it appeared that more commenters on Walton's tweet were very much in favor of his proposal:
- "As a [black woman] I approve of this," one commenter said. "... Some people don't mind trying to weaponize the police against us, unnecessarily, just because they can and just because they feel they will be believed. As though the police are their private security guards. It's disgusting."
- "Bravo, Supervisor Walton!" another observer wrote. "I hope other municipalities and follow suit!"
- "It should be considered premeditated murder to call the cops on black folx," another person said.
- "The whole country needs to do this!" yet another Twitter user opined.
- "Brilliant," another commenter said. "Hopefully this will make the Karens and the Carens think twice before trying to dial someone into jail."