In the past year, there have been multiple high-profile incidents of white people getting caught threatening to call the cops on people of color for engaging in everyday, normal activities: swimming in a pool; eating lunch; using food stamps; feeding the homeless, to name just a few recent examples.
In addition to traumatizing people with unnecessary police encounters, calling 911 when you see a black person do something in public (or in private) is a monumental waste of time and resources for first responders.
Retired Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey—who worked for the LAPD for 20 years—tells Raw Story there's a simple solution.
"There are policies in place for people who abuse 911. Let's say someone goes fishing on a lake, even though there's a sign that says 'No fishing on the lake,' and they get stuck needing a SEAL team to rescue them or whatever. They charge you for resources."
The same can be true for calling the authorities on people who are not breaking the law.
"Let's say somebody calls you and you suspect it's BS ... charge that person for the salary of every emergency responder who's on the scene because of it," Dorsey said.
She recalls that back during her time on the force, the LAPD would get daily phone calls from what they jokingly referred to as "the Laser Lady."
"She'd call everyday. She wanted someone to adjust the tin foil on her head! It was kind of funny."
But there's nothing funny about the racism that would prompt someone to call the police on a black person doing nothing wrong.
"Police department resources are minimal. Cops don't have time to go to the scene because there are some black people having a BBQ in a park."
"It's such a no brainer. Many people live paycheck to paycheck. If you had to pay the salaries of four cops responding to the scene and a sergeant... well you'd probably think twice."