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.
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.

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.”

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.

“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.”

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Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

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