Brooklyn, NY – A New York state senator has proposed legislation that would make it a hate crime to call the police on people of color “without evidence of malice,” the Prospect Heights Patch reported (video below).
New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton’s new legislation would make it a hate crime to call the police on black people if they’re found not to be doing anything wrong when police arrive.
Hamilton, who represents Brownsville, Crown Heights, and Flatbush, proposed the new law just a week ago.
“Living while black is not a crime. But making a false report, especially motivated by hate, should be. Our laws should recognize that false reports with hateful intent can have deadly consequences,” he told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
The legislator said he had his own “living while black” experience that inspired the new proposed law on Aug. 9, when a woman called the police on him for speaking negatively about President Donald Trump as he campaigned at Prospect Park subway station.
"That's gonna be a hate crime," Hamilton said. "This pattern of calling the police on black people going about their business and participating in the life of our country has to stop."
The incident, which Hamilton’s people filmed and of which the senator later posted an edited version, showed the woman wasn’t complaining about the lawmaker’s skin color. She was angry about his politics.
Hamilton was passing out brochures with anti-Trump slogans to those who passed him at the subway stop, and the woman was offended.
In the video, it appeared the angry woman had been handed one of his flyers, and taken umbrage at it.
“I support Trump. And I see the difference between Democrats and Republicans,” the woman told Hamilton, whose campaign staffer was filming and egging the woman on. “And I see the difference between you and Trump.”
“So do you support Jesse Hamilton?” the staffer asked.
The video showed the staffer tried to bait the woman into saying something nasty about the Hamilton specifically, but she was not to be dissuaded from what had gotten her goat.
She held up the flyer and pointed to the words “Fighting Back Trump,” the video showed.
“This should not be here,” the woman ranted at him, clearly irate. “If [Hamilton] really wants nation to be as one and fight for the better life and live the better life, you would not put the slogan here.”
Officers from the 71st Precinct responded to the woman’s call and when they arrived, they patiently explained to the woman, who spoke in heavily-accented English, that what the senator was doing was not illegal, even if she disagreed with his politics, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported.
But Hamilton saw the disagreement as a matter that should be criminal, and listed out a number of incidents in recent months involving black people who said the police had only been called on them because of their color.
“This pattern of calling the police on black people going about their business and participating in the life of our country has to stop,” Hamilton said in a statement, according to The Washington Times. “From a student taking a break at Yale, to a student eating lunch at Smith College, to a child selling lemonade, to a person having a barbecue in Oakland, to an Oregon state legislator knocking on doors – the list goes on and on.”
“These 911 calls are more than frivolous. These 911 calls amount to more than just a waste of police time and resources. These 911 calls are acts of intimidation,” Hamilton said.
Blue Lives Matter contacted several police officers who all agreed that officers are frequently called on people of all skin colors when no crime is being committed. However, it just recently become a trendy story topic in the media as these stories tend to go viral.