According to Syracuse.com, New York State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz’s bill
would make it a hate crime to call the police on someone and make a false accusation against them based on their gender, religion or race at a press conference Friday.
The bill was introduced in 2018 but garnered more support after a white woman maliciously called police on a Black man in Central Park and falsely accused him of “threatening [her] life,” as Blavity previously reported.
“We’ve seen 911 calls which are race-based, false calls," Cuomo said. "A false 911 call based on race should be classified as a hate crime in the state of New York."
Cuomo said he wants the bill passed now that the legislature has reconvened, and it is part of multiple law enforcement reform bills Cuomo is supporting in response to the unrest following the murder of George Floyd, per The New York Post.
Original (May 28, 2020): Two New York City lawmakers are using the furor around the Amy Cooper video to push new legislation criminalizing her actions.
According to PIX11, New York lawmakers Assemblyman Felix Ortiz and Sen. Brian Benjamin have touted a new bill that aims to make it illegal for people to falsely report an incident to the police.
Everyone in this nation understands the fear the black community faces when it comes to proper policing. Therefore calling the police on us at whim is spiteful and is a hate crime as far as I am concerned. Here are my full remarks from #CBSThisMorning on this matter. #AmyCooper
— Senator Brian Benjamin (@NYSenBenjamin) May 27, 2020
Benjamin's bill, which he introduced on Tuesday, would effectively add false reporting of a crime to a list of charges that could be pursued as hate crimes. Ortiz is working on his own version in the State Assembly.
Millions were appalled after watching a video of Amy outright lying to police about Christian Cooper, a Black bird watcher who simply asked her to put her dog on a leash, as Blavity previously reported.
Christian's video shows Amy on the phone with police, hysterically telling them that she was "being threatened" even though Christian was standing several feet away from her and doing nothing to her.
#AmyCooper, a white woman who called the NYPD on an innocent black man who politely asked her to comply with the law and leash her dog as unleashed pets are not allowed in NY’s Central Park, has been fired from her job and lost custody of Henry, the dog seen choking in the video pic.twitter.com/UzEvxsaDtR
— Mirosława Štern® RMX (@Generacija78) May 27, 2020
According to PIX11, both Ortiz and Benjamin said it was unacceptable that people think it is OK to make false reports to police, which not only endanger Black people but waste the time of police and clog 911 lines.
"In the past year, we have seen many instances throughout both New York State and the country of people calling 911 on black people who are going about their everyday lives, only to be interrupted by someone calling the police for reasons that range from caution, to suspicious inkling to all out hated," Ortiz wrote in a note alongside the bill.
Benjamin is the state senator for an area near Central Park and said he has a duty to his constituents to protect them from people who try to get police officers to arrest them for no reason.
"It is frightening that this incident happened just blocks from where many of my constituents live and that this woman was so willing to fabricate a story despite being filmed. I worry that if she had not been filmed, this woman may have been given the benefit of the doubt, and that this man could have faced serious, perhaps life-threatening consequences if the police had arrived," Benjamin said.
The Amy Cooper video has coincided with another brutal video showing the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. Many online have drawn a link between the two videos, saying what happened to Floyd is what Amy wanted to happen to Christian.
— Mr. Duval (@mista_duval) May 27, 2020
Amy made herself infamous thanks to her actions in that video, but she is just one of many people who have outright lied to police about the actions of Black people, all in an effort to get officers to attack or arrest them.
This has gone on for hundreds of years, but thanks to the emergence of recording technology, some Black people have been able to prove their innocence and show that they were doing nothing wrong.
In a lengthy Washington Post story on this topic, author, historian and professor Ibram X. Kendi spoke about the history of the issue and the logic behind it.
“What is inherent is the essential belief of the helpless victim, the projection to racist white men to come and help and save me. The way in which white women have been defended, particularly in the last few decades, has been by calling 911. They view that as a privilege, that when there’s a dispute across racial lines, the police will always have their back,” Kendi said.