You know, I’d like to see the next president take a serious look at the justice system in this country — from officers and employees at the bottom of the totem pole, all the way through the courtrooms and the prison system.

Please watch this video.

If you can’t see video at your computer, click here for a transcript.

I just saw this on CNN, and it made me nauseous. If you can’t turn to 911 in case of a dire emergency, if an operator could utter those words — who else can you turn to? What can we do? And just firing one employee doesn’t quite cut it, in my opinion. I think this reveals a much larger issue within the system.

I can’t wait to hear what you bellas think about this one. It got me all kinds of fired up.

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Cee says:
May 15, 2008, 11:05 am
I agree 100% that 911 is a joke. It is truly sad but believable that the operator said he doesnt give a s... what happens to her. I had to call 911 twice in my lifetime and I hope I never ever have a need to call again. The first time we needed the police for a family dispute. I called twice and the police came waaay after the person left the house and we asked him what took so long and he said the had shootings and things to deal with. The situation didnt get taking as far as it couldnt have been because WE diffused the situation but it was turning uglier by the minute. Not to mention the police station is literally at the corner of the street. The second time we needed a paramedic for my mother. I had to call numerous times meanwhile she was bleeding profusely from complications of her fibroids. They finally came and asked ME where the closest hospital was and was asking ME for directions and they didnt even turn on the siren. I guess it wasnt ugrent enough. I know there are some 911 operators that do their job same for police and paramedics but people are coming across incompetent workers all to often. I learned that all lives are not created equal to people.Let something happen to 1 cop,firefighter etc. and all the emergency workers will drop what they are doing to come to his or her aid but us average joes cant even get 1 cop or paramedic sent out in a timely manner or at all.
Christine says:
May 15, 2008, 11:29 am
Wow. Just wow. I do not believe that someone could even say that when confronted with an issue where a person was in danger. I called 911 once in my life when we had a house fire and they responded immediately, despite being hung up on as we were evacuating the house. I don't even think we managed to say where we were calling from. By the time my mother crossed the street to call 911 again and give them the details we could already here the sirens. Granted then, we lived in a pretty small town at the time, but it is a damned shame to hear that the situation is so drastically different in other places. The second time was for a medical emergency and while they took a bit longer (likely just the difference in distance between the hospital and the home) they still came out very quickly. Unfortunately, the reality is the President, no matter who it is will have no effect on this issue as it really is municipality to municipality and state to state. That's why people really should strive to get involved in local politics as it effects every one so greatly. I hope the way things are handled in Nashville undergoes some very real changes in light of this situation.
Judy says:
May 15, 2008, 11:34 am
Wow. I'm shocked and yet not too surprised. I don't even know how it's possible to feel that way. It really makes you lose faith in those who are there to protect you. We teach little ones to always call 911 in case of an emeregency, but WTF? After a story like this, who's really protecting and serving us? The police officers are second in command, our first lifeline or first in the line to help are the dispatcers. I hope this was just a horrible terrible operator, because I just don't want to believe that all these men and women really feel that way....ugh.
Mrs.Mckinzie says:
May 15, 2008, 11:38 am
That could be me,my mother,my sister,or any other person who is in need of help.I believe that this happens more than we would like to know.Just imagine if this idiot was cooking your food,caring for your child,or running our country.
Cynthia says:
May 15, 2008, 11:49 am
Why would you get a job with an organization that is supposed to help the ones that don't have a voice at the moment? Don't get it? A 911 operator is probably a position that you need to have empathy in order to work it. Obviously, that man doesn't. I'm sad by this but not at all surprised.
Keisha says:
May 15, 2008, 12:12 pm
This is why we live in AMERIKKKA...Shame
Vanessa says:
May 15, 2008, 12:31 pm
It`s funny u post this today. (by the way i love your site) in any case. i was at a salon yesterday, waiting to get my eybrows done, and the owner just had her purse stolen 20 minutes before i came in... she is chinese and i live in a predominently french speaking province (canada) she called 911 while i was waiting... for the first 15 minutes she just kept on calling back and back again. they gave her other numbers to call. a client decided to help her and made the cal for her maybe they would take her more seriously since she spoke french well. i sat there for a good 35 minutes before i got my eybrows done, the clients kept on calling 911 back.. the operator on the other line told her it`s a bag, what can they do?.. they still tried i got out of my session 10 minutes later and still no one came to do an investigation.
TrueGem says:
May 15, 2008, 1:22 pm
That makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. I shed a tear when I heard the operator say that. You never know whats going on and I'm sure that isn't the first time that happened. Further action needs to be taken other than firing the employee. That's absolutely disgusting.
Trina says:
May 15, 2008, 2:05 pm
Wow that was shoking to hear that man say that. We live in the world where people just don't care. I would have sued them.
Vivrant Thang says:
May 15, 2008, 2:08 pm
This is disgusting but not at all surprising. I know someone that worked at 911 and she describes general sense of apathy across the board. That is one occupation that should not be just a paycheck. They hold someone's life in their hands. I hate to say it but if that had been Becky on the other line, the secret service would have been outside her house in less than 60 seconds.
adrienne says:
May 15, 2008, 2:11 pm
This is truly messed up on so many levels. I mean, how are 911 operators screened . . . does someone just walk in and say "I know how to answer the telephone." I wonder if the operators are supervised while they are on calls, or do they just get to randomly reply to the calls as they see fit? Yes, this need to be investigated on every level, not just the firing of an employee.
briany says:
May 15, 2008, 4:02 pm
Disgusted and outraged! If this is what you can expect when calling 911 perhaps the NRA have the right idea.
J. Diva says:
May 15, 2008, 5:39 pm
Let me tell you about my experience with 911. 2005: its 3 am and I'm coming back from a Memorial Day barbecue when I notice a car following me. I called 911 and started driving in circles to divert the stalker guy. He's occasionally turning off his headlights, and slowing down, thinking he's tricking me, and I'm on the phone with them the whole time. They say: Oh, if you don't see his lights anymore, just go home (even after I told them his behaviors). I had to hang up on them, call the local police station myself and have 2 officers meet me outside. I get to the station to file a complain and for an escort, the stalker dude is literally sitting at the corner watching us, and the police didn't notice until I pointed it out. Sadly, neither the police or 911 took action. Luckily I moved that year to stay on campus. Since then I've gotten a new car, I've changed hair colors and styles twice, and I don't even venture into that neighborhood again. My question is, why do we pay tax dollars for people that don't do anything? Yes there are good people out there, but then there are the assholes that are too lazy to take you seriously. I honestly wish upon each of those officers and 911 receptionists that someone does the same thing to them and it affects them like it does those of us who are in danger. Two wrongs may not make it right, but the second can be a lesson learned.
Ash says:
May 15, 2008, 5:40 pm
"I really don't give a s**t what happens to you???" Why in the world is he even a 911 operator then?
p1tey1 says:
May 15, 2008, 6:56 pm
What happened to this woman is shameful. In August of 1996 I lived in Chicago on the southside of the city. My mother became really sick and couldn't get out of bed one day. I called 911, and the operator told me that she would not send an ambulance to my neighborhood unless I gave them a credit card number. My mother had to get on the telephone and literally BEG the operator to send someone. After she BEGGED they sent an ambulance. After they got her to the hospital, we learned her colon had ruptured. She had surgery, but the doctor rold me she was going to die. My mom died six months later and every time I think of that day, the way they MADE HER BEG, it breaks my heart. With the trauma of watching my mother die and having to take responsibility for my developmentally disabled sister, I honestly never thought to follow up and I wish I had. Where you live in some places can determine whether you live or die and that's CRIMINAL in my opinion!
AmiJane says:
May 15, 2008, 8:20 pm
I agree, if this chick was Becky, they would've been over there quick fast and in a hurry. That is America, for ya. The "American Dream" is a fable. People are starting to see the that simmering of racism is about to reach a boiling point. No one likes the ugly truth, but, a pretty lie, aint no use.
Betty Chambers says:
May 15, 2008, 8:55 pm
It wouldn't surprise me if 911 operators get outsourced. So many organizations that we speak to and think are local are actually overseas. As for the police, well, that's another issue.
Bebroma says:
May 15, 2008, 9:53 pm
I'm not surprised. I had to call 911 once for some craziness and by the time the police got there...well, it could have been very bad. This woman could very well have been killed, and we probably wouldn't have heard about it. I have to agree with the Becky comments. I'm sure where you live and how you sound makes a difference.
Sabrina97 says:
May 15, 2008, 11:56 pm
I am truly sadden by the state of emergency affairs in this country.
auragirl says:
May 16, 2008, 4:20 am
wow... wow... wow...
Bebroma says:
May 16, 2008, 7:57 am
@p1tey1, I just wanted to say I am so sorry for what happened to your mother and you. Wow. That is huge.
misskissy says:
May 16, 2008, 8:19 am
dang. i know i shouldn't curse on here, but the only thing i can think of to say is "what the blank was that blank?" and then thinking about where i live and no one even bothers to call the police or ambulance because you know they're not gonna show up...i never even thought to question why, it's just something that they don't do. how messed up is that? i didn't even realise it was a really bad way to live until i moved away for a while. it's sad. i wish we all had universal healthcare so no one had to worry 'bout getting paid when someone else is in an emergency. as a side note, what an ignorant fool to speak those words on a recorded telephone call.
bella says:
May 16, 2008, 9:31 am
p1tey1, thank you so much for sharing your story. I don't think I could ever get over something like that.
no, jokes are funny says:
May 16, 2008, 3:34 pm
Sadly, this isn't new. About 18 years ago I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in a part of town that was somewhat well-to-do, if older, but just before it started getting a little dicier. And there weren't but a few black folks even in the city at that time. I lived on the main boulevard there, Central Avenue SW, which transversed the entire city east to west (the city is divided into quadrants, like D.C.). One night out my bedroom window I saw a man roughing up a woman directly across the street from me, so I called 911 and I gave my address and stayed on the phone with them describing everything I was seeing blow by blow, literally. At one point he knocked her down, dragged her in the bushes, and then she didn't move. I was terrified but stayed on the line with them for what seemed like forever. They never came. They went to the other end of Central Avenue SE, and apparently it never occurred to them to turn around and try the other way. I often wonder what happened to that poor woman.
b. says:
May 16, 2008, 4:15 pm
This leaves me speechless. p1tey1, Lord knows I'm sorry for what happened to you. Is that even LEGAL, asking for a credit card? Or was the operator using her leverage to get a cc # for exploitation? I saw this story today and it reminded me of how callous people can be when it comes to the needs of others: Treating people better must begin with each of us...
AfroButterfly says:
May 16, 2008, 7:14 pm
This is just terrible, i am soo deeply hurt to learn what this woman went through. i just hurts the problems is not the fact that that disgusting man said something so terrible. the problem is that after 3 hours they still didn't get the police out there. that woman could have been dead today...
ph2072 says:
May 17, 2008, 12:09 pm
How disgusting (including the stories mentioned in the comments). Sigh.
Diana says:
May 17, 2008, 6:50 pm
I was going to post that I am speechless. But all I can say is WOW.
bbj says:
May 18, 2008, 2:00 pm
Thank God that woman is still alive. What a nightmare. says:
May 19, 2008, 1:52 am
The reason why the police did not respond to this call is very plain...she was a caller who clearly "sounded black" to the person on the other end of the phone and they didn't care one bit about her life. I only hope that this woman files a suit. It still will not change the racism that is ingrained in the system. ONLY black people report that 911 calls are unanswered...white people NEVER EVER have those experiences.... Black women, other than being disgusted and outraged....what MUST WE do as a collective? Let's outline a plan of action that can be implemented nation-wide. Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS! Lisa
mk says:
May 19, 2008, 9:40 am
911 don't care Cops don't care Politicians rarely care If we decided to start governing ourselves though, then they'd say we were terrorists. But we'd just be doing the jobs they get paid to do & are failing miserably
Mezzo_Soprano says:
May 20, 2008, 1:34 am
That was utterly disturbing. I hope that employee was fired.
Kimbo says:
May 23, 2008, 8:40 am
p1tey1 I hear what you're saying. CNN did a story not that long ago about a 7 year old boy who tried to call 911 to get help for his mother and they thought he was playing on the phone so everytime he called they would actually yell at him for playing on the phone. His mother died that day and her death could've been prevented had the 911 operators taken him seriously. One of the operators was prosecuted but the charges were dropped. (, I tried to find the video but couldn't) Not too long ago my father witnessed an accident(kinda) and tried to call 911 to help. This white lady came barreling down the road as he was leaving our neighborhood, almost hit him, and ran into the back of the shopping center that sits in front of our neighborhood. He went to see if she was okay (she was a little delirious) and she was talking about killing her boyfriend who had just beaten her but it was obvious she was trying to kill herself. So my father called 911. They said they would send someone and he waited with her for like 20 minutes or so and the lady just took off somewhere even though my dad tried to convince her to hang around so she could get some help. He waited a few more minutes but left because he was supposed to be picking me up from work. When he got to my job he told my boss (who happens to be on our city council) and I about the incident. My boss immediately got on the phone with one of the other coucilmembers and had my dad explain what happened. He called the dispatcher right then and they called my dad right back. They had him explain everything all over again and apologized then told us to meet the officers where the accident happened. We went back to the shopping center and some officers showed up and my dad described to them what happened and gave them the ladies license plate number. Mind you the emergency center where these officers came from is less than a mile from where this incident happened. This whole situation didn't make any sense to me. My father really doesn't "sound black" on the phone. We live in the south (South Carolina) and there was a white woman involved but nobody ran to her aid. I think this goes a little beyond race; if you're black or some form of poor trash (because I'm sure when my father was describing the situation to the dispatcher this is what they thought) the government does not want to help you. The whole system is really messed up.
Shayla says:
May 25, 2008, 3:58 am
What do they mean what happened? Why the police didn't get there? Ya really wanna know why because they knew she was calling from the hood! I can't stand racist ass white people! All I can say to old girl is, next time that nigga come at you like that just kill his ass and claim self defense because 911 isn't going to help you and thats so sad. This story just pissed me off!


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