“Karens” your time is up!
With calls for police reform and abolition in nearly every major American city, lawmakers around the country have been working to introduce comprehensive legislation to prevent continued systemic oppression of marginalized groups. In San Francisco, a city official is doing so by taking aim at “Karens” and introducing a law that would make it illegal to make racially bias calls to the cops.
The ordinance, which is a play on the social-media created term “Karen” describing white women who engage in disruptively racist behavior, was introduced by San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton. The CAREN Act, or the Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act, would change San Francisco Police Code to make it unlawful for anyone to “fabricate false racially-biased emergency reports,” according to a news release from Walton.
Walton noted local examples while announcing the law, referencing a video that went viral of a white couple who called the police on a Filipino man stenciling “Black Lives Matter” in front of his San Francisco home.
“Racist 911 calls are unacceptable that’s why I’m introducing the CAREN Act at today’s SF Board of Supervisors meeting,” Walton tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. “This is the CAREN we need. Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies.”
Assemblymember Rob Bonta from Oakland also introduced a similar ordinance, Assembly Bill 1550, which demands consequences for people who call 911 on any racial, classist, or discriminatory biases. Under the proposed bill, victims of any discriminatory and fraudulent calls to the cops could sue the caller for up to $10,000.