*The vote was unanimous. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved legislation Tuesday banning false, racially-biased calls to 911, with all 11 supervisors voting yes.
Its name, the Caution Against Racial and Exploitative Non-Emergencies (CAREN) Act, is of course a nod to the widespread meme using the name “Karen” to describe a specific type of white, middle-aged woman, who exhibits behaviors that stem from privilege, such as using the police to target people of color.
“We want to make sure people don’t continue to weaponize emergency calls to law enforcement,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton, who authored the measure.
Under the CAREN Act, calls to 911 with the specific intent to discriminate over someone’s race, ethnicity, national origin, place of birth, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion is banned. Victims of such calls will also be allowed to sue the caller.
The CAREN Act will be voted again by the Board of Supervisors at next Tuesday’s meeting before heading to Mayor London Breed’s desk.