Oregon cracking down on racially biased 911 calls

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is responding to a number of widely shared videos around the nation showing white people call the police on African Americans going about everyday activities.

The Senate voted 27-1 Monday on a measure allowing victims of such 911 calls to take the caller to court for damages up to $250. The House already approved the measure but still needs to sign off on an additional technical change before it goes to the governor.

The bill follows a series of publicized incidents last year where black people had the police called on them for mundane activities. Starbucks closed thousands of stores for “racial bias” training last year after a Philadelphia employee called the police on two black men sitting in the store for a business meeting.

Critics say the proposal could discourage people from reporting crime and that it’s difficult to determine whether a call was racially motivated.