Cuomo supports bill to punish false race-based 911 calls

June 9, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Cuomo supports bill to punish false race-based 911 calls
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Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his support of a bill to make reporting false crimes a hate crime when racial, ethic, sexual or certain other factors are involved.

“We’re going to pass the most aggressive reforms in the country, the transparency of disciplinary records, banning chokeholds, giving the attorney general authority as a special prosecutor, punishing false race-based 911 calls,” Cuomo said on Tuesday, June 9.

“As soon as the bills are passed, I will sign them into law, hopefully this week,” he said. “So we’re making progress, we’re making progress quickly.”

Photo via Associated Press

In May, a white woman, Amy Cooper, was caught on video telling a black man, Christian Cooper, that she would call 911 on him. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life,” she told Cooper after he asked her to put her dog on a leash. She then called the police and said, “There’s an African-American man. I’m in Central Park. He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. Please send the cops immediately.”

Following the release of the video, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (Red Hook-Sunset Park) stressed the importance of enacting the bill to designate falsely reporting an incident based on race as a hate crime in New York State.

Courtesy of Assemblymember Felix Ortiz’s office.

According to Ortiz, he introduced the bill in 2018.

“Thank you Governor Andrew Cuomo for supporting my bill that will help protect members of our community from harmful actions,” Ortiz said this week. “This is long overdue.”

“The state legislature is enacting historic legislation today,” he added, “passing several bills to protect New Yorkers, improve police and community relations, and bring transparency and accountability to the criminal justice system. I have been working tirelessly to enact meaningful and necessary progressive criminal justice reforms for our state. We have heard from our constituents and are acting now, not waiting for Washington or anyone else to take the lead.

“I am particularly pleased that the legislature is taking up legislation I have long supported to make the reporting of false crimes based on race, religion or ethnicity a crime. This legislation was long overdue and is now becoming a reality.

“We’ve only begun the fight to rebuild New York after the pandemic crisis and the breakdown of trust in the police after recent incidents. The fight continues.”

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