CAREN Act: San Francisco ordinance would make racially-motivated 911 calls a crime

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The CAREN Act could impose criminal charges to people who call 911 because of racial bias on another person.

CAREN – spelled with a “C” instead of the famous “K” in Karen – stands for Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies.

Karen is the word people use today on social media to describe people who make false claims about someone of color and call 911.

A local example of this was brought up, including the story KRON4 covered about a woman who called the police on a man for writing “Black Lives Matter” outside his own home.

She became known as the “San Francisco Karen.”

Nationally, there was a case of a woman in New York who called the cops on a Black man bird watching in Central Park. There are currently charges being brought upon that woman, dubbed “Central Park Karen.”

This San Francisco ordinance was introduced by San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton.

It’s similar to an ordinance made by a state assemblymember in Oakland. That ordinance also results in consequences for racially or discriminatory-motivated 911 calls.

During the San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Walton said both measures are part of a larger nationwide movement to address racial biases and implement consequences for weaponizing emergency resources with racist intentions.

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