Over the past year, reports to the police about Black persons engaged in innocuous behaviors have bombarded the American consciousness. What do we make of them? And, equally important, what are the consequences of such reports?

This Article is the first to argue that the recent spike in calls to the police against Black persons who are simply existing must be understood as a systematic phenomenon which it dubs racialized police communication. The label captures two related practices. First, racially motivated police reporting—calls, complaints, or reports made when Black persons are engaged in behavior that would not have been read as suspicious, or otherwise worthy of police involvement had they been White. Second, racially weaponized police reporting—calls, complaints, or reports made against Blacks in an effort to capitalize on law enforcement mistreatment of Black persons, or harm the victim because of their race.