Proposed ‘CAREN’ act would outlaw racially motivated 911 calls in San Francisco


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON/CNN) - A San Francisco official wants consequences for all the “Karens” out there.

Karen has become a social media meme to identify usually white women who call 911 to make false claims about someone of a different race.

The lawmaker is proposing the CAREN act, which stands for "Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies."

Over the past few years, there have been dozens of viral videos showing people unnecessarily calling 911 on someone. One San Francisco city supervisor wants to see these people to face harsh fines.

“At this point, because it’s leading to death and people being harmed, there should be some type of fine for using resources and leading to the harm of people from these phone calls,” said Shamann Walton, Supervisor for San Francisco District 10.

The next step will be to draft legislation.

“Once the legislation has been drafted, we will introduce it formally at the board of supervisors. It will go to committee - maybe more than likely our Public Safety Neighborhood Services committee. We will have a hearing on the legislation,” Walton said.

He has asked the board of supervisors to redirect San Francisco Police Department funding to the Black community, an act that he said should be viewed as reparations.

“This going to be a community ed process,” Walton said. “We’re actually having some meetings over the next couple of weeks, talking to Black leadership, leadership of Black community based organizations, leadership of Black faith-based community. We’re going to talk about the injustice areas that they identify. And then we’ll start talking about where resources will go and how to distribute those resources once we go through the police department budget.”

Walton hasn’t gotten much pushback as of yet.

“I do imagine that that is coming, particularly when we starting saying this is where resources are going to be taken from and this is what we’re going to do and how we are going to utilize resources,” he said.

A famous example of a Karen is the “Central Park Karen,” the white woman who called police on a black man who was bird-watching in central park. She was charged Monday with filing a false report.

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