Proposed regulation would let victims of false police experiences search civil damages

Nevada Assembly by Video

Nevada Congregation Leader Daniele Monroe-Moreno presents AB 157 during the Congregation Committee on Justice on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The legislation would allow victims of fake 911 calls based on race, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, and physical and mental disabilities to take civil action against the caller.

CARSON CITY – The issue came to the fore last summer in a viral video from New York’s Central Park: After a bird watcher asked a dog owner to put their dog on a leash, the disgruntled woman called 911 and told a dispatcher that she felt threatened by the black man who filmed from a distance.

Amy Cooper, who eventually apologized, was charged with a misdemeanor of filing a false report to the police that was later dismissed.

If Law 157 of the Nevada Congregation becomes law, victims of suspected fake police reports based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability may take civil action against the reporting party.

The legislation was presented to the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee by MP Daniele Monroe-Moreno, a Democrat from southern Nevada.

Under current law, individuals accused of deliberately filing false police reports can be charged with a wrongdoing. In addition, law enforcement agencies can bring civil lawsuits against them to recover the cost of the emergency response. However, civilians cannot bring claims for damages.

“I think we can all agree that these incidents are at least an abuse of our law enforcement staff who are wasting their time and tax resources,” Monroe-Moreno told lawmakers, referring to the incident in New York. “More importantly, they cause serious mental and sometimes physical harm to the victims of such incidents.”

At a time of national race reckoning and after nationwide anti-brutality demonstrations last summer, “we need to find ways to rebuild trust,” said Monroe-Moreno, a retired North Las Vegas police officer. “I believe AB157 can be part of that effort.”

Under the bill, a violation would charge the prosecutor a fee of $ 1,000 in addition to civil damages awarded by a jury. The law is not intended to prevent people from reporting legitimate crimes.

Several states already have similar laws, including Oregon and New York, Monroe-Moreno said. No data was offered to highlight how common the problem is in Nevada.

An opponent of the bill, Marjorie Malleck, told lawmakers the bill would set a dangerous precedent in which people would be afraid to call the police unless “they already have evidence to prove the claim”.

The American Civil Liberties Union in Nevada, the city of North Las Vegas, and the Clark and Washoe Counties Public Defense Offices were some of the organizations that supported the bill during the hearing.

“There is no good reason not to give people rights. AB157 provides these victims with an opportunity to recover from the trauma caused by the police encounter of the prejudicial callers, ”said Liz Davenport, legal advisor at the ACLU of Nevada.

Comments are closed.