In Grand Rapids Racially Biased 911 Calls Only Go One Way
There are proposals popping up all over the country in different urban areas that look to penalize people who call 911 on people of color for no real reason or what they call "doing everyday activities". I can certainly understand being upset and downright angry if someone called 911 on me for no reason.
Mlive is reporting that the city of Grand Rapids has had a law making it a crime to call 911 on a person solely based on their racial or national identity since December of 2019. This law gives “people of color” the ability to file a complaint with the city if they feel the person called 911 because of their color, race, or national identity.
As I stated above I would be upset and angry if someone called 911 on me for no reason. The problem is if someone called 911 on me for no reason according to the city of Grand Rapids tough beans because I am a white person.
Why is it a crime for a white person to call 911 on a black person for no reason but it is not a crime for a black person to call 911 on a white person for no reason other than a trait of theirs? Is that not racist or bigoted in itself?
How about we just have a law that gives everyone the ability to file a complaint with the city if they feel the person called 911 because of their color, race, religion, gender identity and sexual orientation. Or how about an ordinance making it illegal to call 911 and file a false claim, either one of those proposals certainly sounds fair to me. The Grand Rapids ordnance as written makes the city of Grand Rapids appear to be run by bigots.
Patti Caudill, manager of the city’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which fields the complaints stated that:
Grand Rapids was, I believe, the first municipality to enact a biased crime legislation in an ordinance...Our city leadership was, I think, very forward-thinking in putting that into our ordinance.
She then went on to explain that the ordinance does not penalize people who call 911 based on:
a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in consideration of all available facts and the totality of the circumstances.
To date, no one has filed a biased 911 complaint.
Other cities around Michigan and the country has contacted their office to obtain information on their ordinance.