BBQ Becky - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

From Pool Patrol Paula to Permit Patty and BBQ Becky, there’s no shortage of documented evidence of racism floating around the internet – and internet users are more than happy to share these videos with their own commentary. They’re even the brunt of comical memes that spread like wildfire.

Some experts feel that we’re in the middle of a perfect storm. When someone feels threatened by another person’s presence, whether it’s at a public pool or elsewhere, it’s easy to call the police – and it’s equally easy to catch the whole thing on a smart phone.

And because of this, many people are calling for fines for those who waste police’s time.

The concept isn’t unheard of – some jurisdictions already fine people for wasting public resources. (There are even laws in places like Arizona that say if you’re caught in a flash flood and need to be rescued, you’ll have to pay for the resources used to rescue you.) It’s common in Canada, the UK and several other countries, too.

What Do You Think?

Should we fine people for wasting police resources in the U.S.? There are good arguments in favor of billing people for wasting police’s time, including the fact that it can pull police from vital patrols and other important work that actually keeps communities safer. Opponents say that fear of fines could stop people from calling the police for legitimate emergencies.

Is sharing these people’s shame on social media enough to deter others from calling the police with frivolous complaints?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino