Cuomo wants state lawmakers to authorize a bill that will make it a hate crime to call 911 and cite a false accusation due to race, gender, or religion, the New York Post reports. This isn’t the first time this legislation has been introduced; Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) initially proposed the bill in 2018. It was revisited after a white woman, Amy Cooper, called the police on a black man, Christian Cooper after he asked her to leash her dog.
“We’ve seen 911 calls which are race-based, false calls. A false 911 call based on race should be classified as a hate crime in the state of New York,” Cuomo said on Friday.
Cuomo will also be introducing other law enforcement reform policies next Monday when the Legislature returns to session. Violating the hate crime statute can lead to one to five years in prison “if the motivation for reporting such crime is motivated by a perception or belief about their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation,” Ortiz told The Post.
“The bottom line is: we should be using better judgment. Racism gets created, and I think that by making false reporting because of gender or region is completely unacceptable and intolerable,” he said.
Cuomo has shown support for other measures. The Post writes, “Reforming the controversial 50-a section of the civil rights law allowing for transparency of prior disciplinary records of law enforcement officers; Banning chokehold usage by law enforcement; Naming the Attorney General independent prosecutor for cases concerning deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement.”
People reports that Cooper has also gotten her dog back. She handed her dog to the animal rescue operation from which she adopted it, Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, while the incident was being investigated.
Cooper “voluntarily surrendered the dog in question to our rescue while this matter is being addressed,” the rescue’s Facebook page said.
“The dog was promptly evaluated by our veterinarian, who found that he was in good health,” the group wrote, which deemed the video “troubling.” In the footage, Cooper is shown pulling on the dog’s collar and leash and even jerking him off his feet.
“We have coordinated with the appropriate New York City law enforcement agencies, which have declined to examine the dog or take it into their custody. Accordingly, and consistent with input received from law enforcement, we have now complied with the owner's request for return of the dog.”
Days after the incident took place, Christian Cooper accepted the woman's apology and called for death threats to “stop immediately.”