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Social media’s exposed the frequency that these faux 911 calls are dangerous to people of color.
Oregon may be on the verge of passing a law that would make it an arrestable offense to call the police on black people simply for living their lives.
I’ve witnessed that paradigm occur several times recently; one was a Latino bike messenger delivering a package being harassed by a random white dude jean shorts and a wrinkled Banana Republic flower shit, with phone in hand, threatening to call the cops on him for parking his scooter on the sidewalk along Madison Ave in Manhattan.
What has become apparent to many is that the very existence of non-whites is at stake whenever one offends the sensibilities of white folks. Death by cop for African Americans and Mexican Americans alike predates the internet, the automobile and all civil rights organizations by centuries.
Social media’s exposed the frequency that these faux 911 calls are dangerous to people of color. From BBQ Becky to Dorm Room Diana, and beyond, are malicious attempts to get the police to beat up and kill a person that they cannot physically address themselves.
It’s as if they believe that black and brown people are incapable of rational thought.
Although historic, the bill would only sue the caller for $250 when calling the cops on folks for simply being within eyesight.
This measure passed overwhelmingly in the state Senate, which is dope. The “meh” part about it is it’s only $250.
But what happens when someone dies? The Oregon Legislature only has three black lawmakers who collaborated on the bill, according to sponsoring Rep. Janelle Bynum.
“When someone gets the police called on them for just existing in public, it sends a message that you don’t belong here,” said Bynum, the only black member of the House.
Without clear evidence of these slights, it would be much more difficult to convince a well-meaning but historically and racially ignorant population base to do something like that, even in a state like Oregon.
Witnesses recorded an incident where a white woman called the police on a black father who was coaching his son from the sidelines. Police found no wrongdoing and did not detain the father. It is the latest in a string of occurrences where white people have called 911 on black people who have done nothing wrong.
Hopefully, fingers and toes crossed, other states will follow.
Last year, Bynum was a victim herself when the cops rolled up on her as she canvassed door to door for re-election. She later learned a neighbor did so because she looked “suspicious”.
“This creates a legal pathway to justice for those of us who have to worry about getting the cops called on us for existing in public,” she said.
But here’s the rub, the victims have to prove that the caller has the intent to call a police officer to harm the individual. But when you’re black the default position for many white officers is to treat you as a suspect.
Although the measure was approved by the House, the chamber still needs to sign off on a technical change before it heads to the governor. Stay with The Shadow League for more news on this as events unfold.