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Racially Motivated 911 Calls: The Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non- Emergency ("CAREN”) Act

WHEREAS, instances of White people calling the police on private Black citizens for simply existing and participating in very ordinary activities – such as barbecuing in a park, eating out at a restaurant, golfing, or selling bottled water – has become widely known through the "hashtag" #LivingWhileBlack and through catchy labels of the caller such as "Barbecue Becky", "Permit Patty", or "ID Adam"; and


WHEREAS, Black Americans are more frequently, and disproportionately the suspect in a 911 emergency call; and


WHEREAS, a study in Kirkland, Washington found that 15 percent of emergency calls over an 11- month period reporting someone as an "unwanted subject" in a public place, involved Black people; and

WHEREAS, in Kirkland, Washington, only 1.2 percent of the population is comprised of Black people; and


WHEREAS, any call to the police on a Black person in America, even if suspicions are warranted, can have deadly consequences; and


WHEREAS, Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than White Americans; and


WHEREAS, because of the history of racism in the United States. Black Americans are less likely to feel safe during police interactions than the general population, and generally have less trust in the law enforcement system; and


WHEREAS, although state legislatures have made it unlawful to generally misuse the 911 emergency service line, there is no clear standard for punishment, and enforcement is minimal; and


THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP calls upon all state legislatures to enact legislation similar to California's Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies "CAREN" Act that provide victims of racially motivated 911 calls, standing to file suit in court of law.

Together Power Vote Hero - NAACP

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