Man Becomes First To Be Prosecuted Under New ‘Karen’ Law
A New York man has become the first to be prosecuted under the so-called ‘Central Park Karen’ law.
On Memorial Day weekend last year, Amy Cooper was branded a ‘Karen’ amid going viral for phoning 911 to say an ‘African American man’ was threatening her and her dog, after he had requested she put a leash on her pet.
While her third-degree misdemeanour charge of falsely reporting an incident was dropped, the incident inspired new legislation in the state of New York aimed at curbing racially charged, false reports.
David Elmendorf, a former owner of an Upstate New York ice cream shop, has been ordered to pay $4,500 between nine Black Lives Matter protesters after claiming to police they were threatening him. They had been peacefully protesting outside Bumpy’s Polar Freeze in Schenectady on June 30, 2020, after his alleged racist text messages circulated online.
During his 911 call, he reportedly said there were ’20 armed protesters who were threatening to shoot him.’ He also allegedly called them a number of racial slurs, describing them as ‘savages hanging out in Section 8 housing,’ as per the MailOnline. Elmendorf’s attorney James Mermigis said these claims are ‘categorically false.’
He was sued by New York State Attorney General Letitia James. ‘There is zero tolerance for harassment, intimidation, or violence of any kind against anyone in New York… those who make racist and violent threats will be held accountable by my office with the full weight of the law,’ she said in a statement.
‘The charges against David Elmendorf should serve as a warning that hate crimes will not be tolerated on my watch and we will not allow any individual to use the colour of someone’s skin as a weapon,’ James added.
The law was signed in by former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in June last year. This July, the ‘CAREN Act’, standing for Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies, was also introduced in July in San Francisco.
‘This bill could protect millions of Californians from becoming targets of hate and prevent the weaponisation of our law enforcement against communities of colour,’ California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk