Posted by: Ophelia | May 21, 2008

911 Operator: ‘I Don’t Give a S***t’

Maybe you’ve heard about the woman who called in a domestic violence complaint when an ex-boyfriend came into her home with a knife only to be blown off by the operator? I actually caught the end of a segment on CNN but couldn’t get more details. Luckily its been covered by The Curvature and Dirty Rotten Feminist.

But in arguing against this line of thought, what do we say to Sheila Jones? What do we say to a woman of color who put her faith in the police to protect her and not only watched them fail but was also the subject of their scorn? What do we say to Sheila Jones, who no longer trusts the police and doesn’t know who to call if in danger again? What do we say when Sheila Jones, in the end, turned out to be relatively lucky, both because she’s still alive and because the police didn’t inflict more damage on her when they finally turned up? What do we say when it’s screaming off the page right in front of our faces that this was not an issue of one really shitty and unethical 911 operator, but a whole system that did not take very severe threats against a woman seriously, and in fact outright acknowledged as much? When this system has let us know that we can’t trust them to be truthful? When this system could have actually caused Sheila Jones’ death?

Dirty rotten feminist delves into the comments left on the news post. Needless to say, they’re everything one would expect, even lovely admonitions about Jones’ tone and use of profanity. Clearly, a woman with the gall to curse when her life is threatened deserves to receive no help.

You know, the one benefit to being largely cut off from the internet since graduation is the peace that comes from not having to see this shit daily.

after 3 hours it is clear there was no danger. sos metro has to baby sit adults.

The suspect (a negro) left just before the original call AND DID NOT COME BACK. This female (also a negro) keeps calling and calling and calling because the police aren’t there immediately to fill out PAPERWORK.
Yes, the male negro kept calling and threatening her, but if she was so terrified she could have got in her car and drove to the mall, or walmart or anywhere instead of sitting around waiting to become a victim.

So the man is possibly waiting outside, but you’re stupid for not running outside to get away? Let me paint an alternative picture–she leaves the premises and is stabbed. Insert “Well why didn’t she just stay inside and wait for the police instead of making herself a victim.” Silly me, I think the person who creates victims is the one with the knife, and not the woman following procedure. So who do you call when the police don’t answer? Why are some so eager to find fault with the woman who did not receive the service and basic human empathy she deserved? Oh wait–she’s a) a woman and b) a woman of color. Most important of all, Sheila Jones is a human being. It’s sickening how many don’t seem to be able to grasp that.

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Responses

  1. Thank god I’m a white man. They listen to me. Sucks for just about everybody else, though…

  2. This story completely sickens me. In Canada we have had two incidents on the West Coast where emergency services failed to call the police and both times the women ended up being murdered. Both women were white. I think this is a case of not treating violence against women with the seriousness that it deserves.


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