“An unconscious woman, a robbery in progress, cars racing on the interstate: All of these incidents led people to call Houston’s 911 system — but not for long. These were among thousands of calls that were cut short by an operator who Harris County prosecutors said simply hung up on the callers.” Police response time is a factor no matter how efficient the operation. Cops simply can’t be everywhere they’re needed, hence gun owners who point out that when seconds count, police are only minutes away.
Unless you’re a Houston resident and were unfortunate enough to draw Crenshanda Williams when you dialed 911, in which case it could be much longer.
“Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real,” Williams was recorded saying after ending a call in which a security guard had tried to report two cars driving at high speeds on Interstate 45 South, according to a 2016 report from local KPRC TV.
Williams worked at the Houston Emergency Center for about a year and a half before she was fired in 2016. Her supervisors had realized Williams was responsible for cutting off emergency calls after just a few seconds, often forcing callers to try again — and to wonder why they couldn’t get help.
When confronted by her superiors with evidence that she was dumping emergency calls, Williams said she really didn’t feel like talking to anyone at the moment.
Her attorney recently said, “She was going through a hard time in her life,” according to the Houston Chronicle.
She was eventually charged with two counts of interfering with an emergency call. Yes, only two counts. This was one of them.
The criminal complaint says the March 12, 2016 call referenced a shooting/robbery homicide. “The first call came in… and was an immediate hang up by the defendant,” says the complaint. The second call placed by the same number (Li) came in. The defendant said “Houston 9-1-1 do you need medical, police or fire?” The caller said, “This is a robbery,” the complaint alleges.
Police could “then hear the defendant sigh before the call is terminated by the defendant,” the complaint says. A third 911 call was taken by another call taker. In the third call, the caller, Li, was “able to report that a man fired multiple (sic) during a robbery and people may be hurt,” says the complaint.
The store owner, Zia Arfeen Seddiqui, 51, left behind four children and had a grandchild on the way, says ABC 13.
Williams’ misconduct is obviously an aberration. Most 911 operators dispatch police, fire or EMS as quickly as humanly possible. Of course, that’s still usually at least five minutes or more. Frequently longer depending on call volume and where you happen to be when your emergency presents itself.
All of which just illustrates the point; carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.