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Murphy signs legislation to criminalize false 911 calls as form of bias intimidation

The legislation, signed by Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) on Monday, categorizes false incrimination and filing a false police report as a type of bias intimidation.  – Photo by Wikimedia

On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) signed a legislation to categorize false incrimination and filing a false police report as a form of bias intimidation, according to a press release.

“Over the past two years we've worked hard to build and strengthen trust between communities and law enforcement, and this law will help us further racial justice while keeping our residents safe,” said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, according to the release. “Not only is falsely calling 911 a form of intimidation against people of color that places its victims in danger, (but) it (also) interferes with 911 emergency operators trying to save lives and puts law enforcement at risk. This law demonstrates New Jersey takes addressing racial bias incidents seriously.”

Individuals falsely calling 911 with the intention of intimidating or harassing others based on race or other protected classes is now considered a crime under this bill, according to the release.

“Using the threat of a 911 call or police report as an intimidation tactic against people of color is an unacceptable, abhorrent form of discrimination,” Murphy said, according to the release. “This irresponsible misuse of our 911 system places victims in a potentially dangerous situation, and can erode trust between Black and Brown New Jerseyans and law enforcement. Individuals who choose to weaponize this form of intimidation should held be accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

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