A California lawmaker wants to make it illegal to make discriminatory 911 phone calls.
Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, announced that he is introducing legislation that would make it a hate crime to make a 911 phone call motivated by another person’s race, religion, sex or any other protected class. The bill also would allow people who are victims of such phone calls to sue the caller.
There have been several instances that have gone viral on social media of a white person calling 911 on a Black person over trivial concerns, such as a 2018 incident in Oakland in which a woman called police to report a group of black men barbecuing near Lake Merritt.
One recent such viral video shows a New York City woman, Amy Cooper, telling police that she was being threatened by a Black man, Christian Cooper, who was out bird-watching.
After the video went viral, Amy Cooper was publicly shamed and lost her job. She later publicly apologized for the incident.