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Anti-Karen legislation? Berkeley ordinance would outlaw racially biased 911 calls



Berkeley might make discriminatory and racially biased 911 calls unlawful in a brand new ordinance being thought of by the Metropolis Council.

The ordinance, which is on the agenda for the Metropolis Council assembly subsequent Tuesday, was authored by Councilmember Kate Harrison and it might develop the present municipal code outlawing false stories to the police to particularly ban stories based mostly solely on discriminatory causes. The ordinance would additionally permit folks to pursue civil motion, similar to searching for damages.

Discriminatory calls are outlined as these based mostly on one’s ethnicity, race, nationality, age, intercourse, faith, incapacity, sexual orientation, place of origin or creed, in line with the proposal.

The ordinance is modeled after San Francisco’s 2020 CAREN Act, which stands for Warning Towards Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies. The title “Karen” has been used to discuss with white girls who’ve been caught on video exhibiting bias in opposition to folks of shade and making discriminatory calls to the police.

“Such incidents trigger severe hurt to the particular person falsely accused of against the law, contribute to defamation, trigger nervousness and mistrust amongst folks of shade and different folks, and put an pointless pressure on legislation enforcement officers responding to frivolous and false calls,” in line with the ordinance.

In her proposal, Harrison cited discriminatory calls outlined in Berkeley Police Evaluation Fee’s 2017 “To Obtain Equity and Impartiality: Report and Suggestions” report.

In a single instance, a mixed-race household was having pizza at Bobby G’s Pizzeria on College Avenue when one other diner reported that the couple was “abusing their youngsters by consuming beer and wine in entrance of their youngster.” Police arrived, and after the proprietor of the restaurant informed them that the household had been “minding their very own enterprise watching a soccer sport,” officers questioned the Black father for an hour.

Harrison referred to a different instance wherein a Black safety guard in uniform was carrying a licensed gun and talking with a white girl on the nook of Allston Approach and Bonar after a Berkeley Youth Assn. ceremony. A white man began videotaping them and after the safety guard informed him to cease, the person mentioned it was his proper and informed him: “Don’t carry a gun into my neighborhood.” The white man then referred to as the police, who arrived and verified the credentials of the safety guard. One of many officers stayed and continued to ask the safety guard questions. The Black man mentioned he felt he was being “badgered” and “unduly questioned.”

In Might 2020, Amy Cooper, a white girl, referred to as the police in New York Metropolis’s Central Park to report that she was being threatened by “an African American man,” Christian Cooper, who was chicken watching within the park. The video was posted on Twitter. Months later, Amy Cooper has been charged with submitting a false police report. The fees had been dropped after she completed an academic course.

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