New Jersey Makes ‘Race-Based’ 911 Calls a Crime

SECAUCUS, NJ - APRIL 2: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tours an emergency field hospital being prepared at the Meadowlands Expo Center on April 2, 2020 in in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Mancuso-Pool/Getty Images)
Michael Mancuso-Pool/Getty Images

New Jersey has made it a crime to call 911 with false police reports towards people of color, regardless of ethnicity or religion, the state’s governor announced Monday.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) made the announcement Monday as he signed a bill, A1906, into law that will make such calls a bias crime. Those who violate the law could face up to five years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

“Using the threat of a 9-1-1 call or police report as an intimidation tactic against people of color is an unacceptable, abhorrent form of discrimination,” Murphy said. “This irresponsible misuse of our 9-1-1 system places victims in a potentially dangerous situation, and can erode trust between Black and Brown New Jerseyans and law enforcement.”

According to, the new “legislation amends existing state statute against creating a false public alarm.”

“Not only is falsely calling 911 a form of intimidation against people of color that places its victims in danger, it interferes with 911 emergency operators trying to save lives and puts law enforcement at risk,” New York Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said. “This law demonstrates New Jersey takes addressing racial bias incidents seriously.”

Earlier this year, in June, a similar bill was introduced by California Assemblyman Rob Bonta.

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