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Diving Into Potential Impact Of SF’s CAREN Act, Meant To Deter Racist 9-1-1 Calls




Video of Amy Cooper calling the police on a Black man went viral on social media this summer. The man says he asked Cooper to put her dog on a leash in New York's Central Park.
Video of Amy Cooper calling the police on a Black man went viral on social media this summer. The man says he asked Cooper to put her dog on a leash in New York's Central Park.
Christian Cooper via Facebook/Screenshot by NPR

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San Francisco’s Supervisors are set to vote today on the “Caution Against Racial and Exploitative Non-Emergencies” or CAREN Act, which gives the targets of racist 9-1-1 calls the right to sue the caller. 

The discrimination doesn’t have to be based on race, it also encompasses gender identity, age, weight and other identity markers. But overall, the legislation is meant to deter people like Amy Cooper from using malintent to call the cops on a person of color and weaponize the police to their advantage. 

Might this result in lawsuits being brought to court? How is racist intent determined? Might the law have unintended consequences? And what is its symbolic significance? 

Guests: 

Jody Armour, professor of law at the University of Southern California; author of “N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law” (Los Angeles Review of Books, August 2020) he tweets @NiggaTheory

Ambrosio Rodriguez, former prosecutor; he is currently a criminal defense attorney at The Rodriguez Law Group in Los Angeles; he led the sex crimes team and was in the homicide unit in the Riverside D.A.’s office ; he tweets at @aer_attorney