San Francisco Lawmaker Introduces CAREN Act To Prevent Racially Biased 911 Calls

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 08 Jul 2020 14:25
San Francisco Lawmaker Introduces CAREN Act To Prevent Racially Biased 911 CallsMichelle Dione/YouTube/Christian Cooper

A San Francisco lawmaker has introduced an ordinance that would fine anyone who makes false, racially aggravated emergency reports in the city – designed to clamp down on those who call the police on innocent Black people.

Supervisor Shamann Walton introduced the CAREN Act, which stands for the Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act, and is a not-so-subtle nod to the ‘Karen’ reference used to describe racist white women.


In San Francisco it is already a crime to report a false crime, however the CAREN Act would alter the police code, making it unlawful for a person to make up a report, based on someone’s race, religion, gender or sexuality.

Black Lives Matter Protest - Golden Gate Bridge - SAN FRANCISCOPA Images

The new act would also allow the subject of the complaint to seek compensation from the complainant through the civil courts, Forbes reports.

In a press release announcing the bill, Walton said:


Within the last month and a half in the Bay Area, an individual called the police on a Black man who was dancing and exercising on the street in his Alameda neighborhood and a couple called the police on a Filipino man stenciling ‘Black Lives Matter’ in chalk in front of his own residence in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights.

The name Karen has been used a lot in recent weeks to describe entitled white women who have called the police on Black people, seemingly because of the colour of their skin.

Just last week, a woman dubbed Permit Karen, called the police on her Black neighbours, complaining that she didn’t believe they had a permit to install a paved patio on their own backyard.


Susan Schulz then claimed her neighbour, Fareed Nassor Hayat, an attorney and law professor at the City University of New York, had pushed her off his land, despite his wife Norrinda having filmed the entire exchange, with multiple witnesses confirming that’s not what happened.

However, this is nothing new, as many ‘Karens’ have gone viral in recent years for similar incidents. In 2018, Alison Ettel called the cops on an eight-year-old child who was selling water on the side of the road without a permit, earning her the title of ‘Permit Patty’.

Amy Cooper, who went viral after she called police on a Black man who asked her to keep her dog on a lead in Central Park, was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree on Monday, July 6.

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

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Black Lives Matter, San Francisco


  1. Forbes

    San Francisco Lawmaker Introduces ‘CAREN Act’ To Deter False, Racially Biased 911 Calls