COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Democratic lawmakers at the Ohio Statehouse Wednesday announced new legislation to deal with false or racially motivated 911 calls.
The bill is named “Darren’s Law” and would allow the victim of one of these calls to sue the caller in civil court. If the court rules against the caller, they would then need to complete an implicit bias training program.
“We want to educate individuals by providing implicit bias training for these Karens or individuals like this situation,” said Rep. Thomas West, (D) Canton.
Darren Cooper is an Ohio social worker who was the target of a false call in August. He was talking on his phone in his car in a parking lot while waiting for his work training to start.
Cooper was surrounded by police and had guns pointed at him. He later found out a person across the street called 911 and claimed he had a gun and was acting erratically.
“My wife didn’t lose a husband that day, my kids didn’t lose a father that day,” said Cooper. “Other people who have been shot and killed or lost their lives, that’s why I want to speak up and speak out about this.”
According to Rep. Thomas West and Rep. Casey Weinstein, the sponsors of the bill, it will be introduced shortly. They are planning to meet with interested parties, including law enforcement agencies shortly.
“A lot of people have fear just by the mere presence of somebody from a different race and we have to also start to look at how can we address that issue,” said Rep. West.