Many activists, community leaders and politicians have been fighting back against the seemingly never-ending incidents involving people calling 911 on Black people for no legitimate reason. The problem, which has been referred to as “Living While Black” on social media, has motivated politicians of color to create bills to stop it.
One of the recent measures has come out of Michigan, where State Rep. LaTanya Garrett introduced a bill to the state Legislature on Wednesday. The rule would make filing false crime reports based on bias or someone’s race a felony, the Detroit Free Press reported.
“Throughout the country, there has been an influx of calls where black brothers just being black just seems to be a problem,” Garrett, whose district covers part of Highland Park and Detroit, said. “Being a black woman having a black husband for 10 years and having three black children, I’m always worried about their safety. So I put myself in their shoes and asked: What safety measures are in place to protect black people who are just living everyday life and having law enforcement called on them for no apparent reason?”
Garrett’s bill — broken up into House Bill 6318 and 6319 that could go before the House for a vote pending approval by a state legislature committee — comes after New York State Sen. Jesse Hamilton called for race-based 911 calls to be treated as hate crimes last month. A self-avowed Trump supporter reported Hamilton, who represents Brownsville, Crown Heights and Flatbush, Brooklyn, to police for campaigning in his own district.
Politicians were asking for communities to come together to support these bills and fight the out-of-control issue of racist police reports. The measures by both Garrett and Hamilton will likely motivate other states to introduce legislation but only time will tell.