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San Francisco’s CAREN Act will ‘criminalize reporting minorities,’ conservatives say

San Francisco’s CAREN Act will ‘criminalize reporting minorities,’ conservatives say
San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton is outraged at white women calling the police on minorities. His creatively named CAREN Act would put an end to this, but conservatives claim it’s just more discrimination.

Walton introduced the Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies (CAREN) Act on Tuesday. Its name is a nod to ‘Karen’, which has become internet slang for a white woman who demeans store assistants, demands to speak to the manager, or, crucially here, feels unduly threatened by minorities.

Walton was spurred into action by the case of Amy Cooper in New York. Cooper, who called the police on a black man in Central Park earlier this summer, has been criminally charged with making a false police report, despite her claims that she felt threatened by the man. Cooper is mentioned in a press release accompanying the bill, yet the statement also mentions the person who called the Minneapolis Police Department on George Floyd for allegedly buying cigarettes with a counterfeit bill.

Knowingly passing off counterfeit currency is a federal crime, carrying a punishment of up to 20 years in prison. Given its mention of George Floyd, conservatives are wondering whether Walton’s bill would criminalize reporting minorities to the police, even if an actual crime was taking place.

Making a false police report is already illegal, but in the wake of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ riots, lawmakers around the country are pushing to doubly punish offenders if the call is deemed to have been racially motivated. California Assemblyman Rob Bonta introduced a bill last month that would make “discriminatory 911 calls” a hate crime. Meanwhile, in New York, state lawmakers passed a bill last month that would give minorities the right to take legal action against anyone who they felt called the police on them due to their race, gender, or nationality.

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