Following the incident where a Brooklyn woman called 911 on a 9-year-old boy and wrongly accused him of sexual assault, a Brooklyn lawmaker is introducing a bill that would punish people for making a false report against children.
Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte will introduce “Jeremiah’s law” this week to the Assembly Floor. The bill would make filing a false report against a minor under 13 years old a class ‘E’ felony with the possibility of jail time, according to City and State New York.
Bichotte said the bill would protect all children but the intent is to protect children of color. The bill is named after Jeremiah Harvey, the black boy who Teresa Klein (Cornerstore Caroline) falsely accused of groping her in Flatbush bodega.
“A situation like that with no camera, that boy, who could not even defend himself, would have probably been picked up and be detained in the juvenile system,” Bichotte said.
The bill goes on to state the significance of why a false report against a child shouldn’t go without consequence.
“If it were not for the surveillance camera, Jeremiah who was with his mother, might have been arrested and detained in the Juvenile Court,” the bill states. “Ms. Klein’s behavior echoes an ugly past in our country’s history going back to the brutal torture and murder of Emmett Till. Till, 14, Black, was falsely accused of ‘wolf whistling’ at a white woman and as a result was abducted from a visiting relative, beaten and mutilated him before he was shot in thehead and body sunk in the Tallahatchie River in the Mississippi Delta. This provide a clear and tragic example of what can happen to children of color when they are presumed guilty by our society.”
Since the incident, Jeremiah said that he doesn’t forgive Klein. However, he recently walked back on the remark and said that he did forgive her.
Source: City and State New York