NY State Senator Wants to Make Calling 911 on Black Folks in White Spaces a Hate Crime

Actor Machel Montano and New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton speak onstage during Bazodee premiere and concert featuring Machel Montano and friends at PlayStation Theater on July 27, 2016 in New York City.
Actor Machel Montano and New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton speak onstage during Bazodee premiere and concert featuring Machel Montano and friends at PlayStation Theater on July 27, 2016 in New York City.
Photo: Eugene Gologursky (Getty Images)

New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton wants to make calling the police on black folks living their best life a hate crime after a self-described Trump fan called the police on him.

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Hamilton, who represents the neighborhoods of Brownsville, Crown Heights and Flatbush in Brooklyn, N.Y., told Patch that the new law would “criminalize 911 calls against people of color without evidence of malice.”

“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.”

According to Patch, Hamilton would like to strengthen current laws that ban people from giving false reports and making racially motivated 911 calls a hate crime, especially in cases where police are dispatched.

Hamilton wants to make a distinction between actual calls where someone appears to be a threat and a person whose color is deemed threatening.

According to Raw Story, “Under the new law, the Oakland woman who called 911 to report a barbecue, the Philadelphia Starbucks manager who had two customers arrested and the Yale student who reported a fellow student for napping could be charged and prosecuted, had they called 911 in New York State,” Hamilton said.

“Waiting for your friends at a Starbucks is not a 911 call,” Hamilton said. “It’s a call of intimidation.”

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The state legislator knows this first hand as police were called on him just last week as he was handing out campaign literature. According to Raw Story, Hamilton’s literature was critical of the president and, a woman who was captured on video was upset that Hamilton’s message vowed to “fight back [against] Trump.” So, she called the police.

Hamilton’s law, if passed, would require the police to investigate who made the 911 call and would determine whether the call was justified but at least one Brooklyn resident wasn’t feeling the idea of the police policing the police.

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“We’re putting responsibility in the hands of an institution that’s really predatory,” Milan Powell told Patch. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that.”

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

DISCUSSION

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LolaFalanasLongAssLegs

A person is guilty of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree when, knowing the information reported, conveyed or circulated to be false or baseless, he or she:

1. Initiates or circulates a false report or warning of an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a crime, catastrophe or emergency under circumstances in which it is not unlikely that public alarm or inconvenience will result; or

2. Reports, by word or action, to an official or quasi-official agency or organization having the function of dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property, an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a catastrophe or emergency which did not in fact occur or does not in fact exist; or

3. Gratuitously reports to a law enforcement officer or agency (a) the alleged occurrence of an offense or incident which did not in fact occur; or (b) an allegedly impending occurrence of an offense or incident which in fact is not about to occur; or (c) false information relating to an actual offense or incident or to the alleged implication of some person therein; or

4. Reports, by word or action, an alleged occurrence or condition of child abuse or maltreatment or abuse or neglect of a vulnerable person which did not in fact occur or exist to:

(a) the statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment, as defined in title six of article six of the social services law or the vulnerable persons’ central register as defined in article eleven of such law, or

(b) any person required to report cases of suspected child abuse or maltreatment pursuant to subdivision one of section four hundred thirteen of the social services law or to report cases of suspected abuse or neglect of a vulnerable person pursuant to section four hundred ninety-one of such law, knowing that the person is required to report such cases, and with the intent that such an alleged occurrence be reported to the statewide central register or vulnerable persons’ central register.

Falsely reporting an incident in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Could it be that prosecutors haven’t charged under 3? Curious as to what kind of sentencing he would recommend.