Black Americans can almost be heard saying in unison: “It’s about time!”
A New York state senator is introducing legislation that would make it a crime to call the cops on law-abiding Blacks engaging in innocuous activities.
Democratic Sen. Jesse Hamilton’s proposal was spurred from his own maddening #LivingWhileBlack episode last week. Hamilton, 44, who represents Brownsville, Crown Heights and Flatbush in Brooklyn, had the police called on him while campaigning in his own district last Thursday by a self-proclaimed Donald Trump supporter who happened to be White, the New York Post reported.
Just in case you didn’t see it before, check out Hamilton having to entertain this moronic Trump supporter, which he posted on his Facebook page:
A Trump supporter called the police on us today, for the crime of speaking to constituents about immigration and Trump's racist policies.The pattern of targeting Black men and women for being Black and alive in the communities we all share has to stop. This pattern of calling the police on Black people going about their business and participating in the life of our country has to stop. From a student taking a break at Yale, to a student eating lunch at Smith College, to a child selling lemonade, to a person having a barbecue in Oakland, to an Oregon state legislator knocking on doors – the list goes on and on. I will continue to speak to neighborhood residents about the important work we must accomplish together – including changing a culture of targeting Black men and women for living while Black.
Posted by Senator Jesse Hamilton on Thursday, August 9, 2018
Hamilton’s experience parallels that of countless other law-abiding Blacks who’ve had the cops called on them for trivialities such as sitting in Starbucks, selling hot dogs or water, selling real estate with a license and, yes, campaigning in your own district.
These and multiple other incidents have motivated Hamilton to offer a possible solution to the widespread problem.
Hamilton introduced the 911 Discrimination bill in New York State which is designed to stop the “misuse” of calling 911, he said in a tweet after his Campaigning While Black experience.
“That’s gonna be a hate crime,” said Hamilton, as reported by the Prospect Heights Patch. “This pattern of calling the police on Black people going about their business and participating in the life of our country has to stop.”
The state senator also addressed the Philadelphia Starbucks incident. “Waiting for your friends at a Starbucks is not a 911 call,” Hamilton said. “It’s a call of intimidation.”
As it stands, current legislation outlaws “false reports by designating racially-motivated 911 calls as hate crimes, especially in instances where the call results in police responding with the preconception that the person might cause a threat.”
Hamilton’s bill would add to that, pushing people who have the police called on them to report incidents and police to investigate whether those calls were justified.
No word yet on when the bill will be introduced nor on its chances to become law.