New bill seeks to add consequences for 911 abuse

Posted: Updated:
FLATBUSH -

A new bill from state Sen. Kevin Parker aims to ensure that people understand there should be consequences for making false 911 calls when there is no public threat.

Officials are using the recent "Cornerstore Caroline" incident as an example of 911 abuse.

Theresa Klein, a white woman, apologized and received a public shaming after she falsely accused a 9-year-old black boy of touching her buttocks last week at a Flatbush deli. She could be seen on the phone, claiming to be talking with police about the alleged groping. Surveillance video shows that it was only the boy's backpack that touched her.

Police say they never received a 911 call from the deli and that there's no record of a criminal complaint. Parker says it's situations like these that are good examples of why there must be consequences for abusing 911.

In August, Parker says he introduced a bill that would make the misuse of 911 calls a class B misdemeanor. If it becomes law, a person found guilty of knowingly reporting a nonemergency incident when there's no public safety threat could face up to three months in jail and a $500 fine.

Parker says his bill is different from the one introduced by state Sen. Jesse Hamilton, whose bill calls for it to be a hate crime anytime a person makes a false report to 911 for a nonemergency incident.

Parker says his bill is in a committee and that he hopes Gov. Andrew Cuomo will get involved.

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