Fleurette French, a 64-year-old woman in Florida, was recently arrested for dialing 911 because she was lonely. And drunk, Fleurette was drunk, too. She called the emergency service to report a medical issue, but when the medic arrived at her home, she told him the truth -- that she was just lonely and wanted to be around someone.
What Fleurette did is messed up -- especially since she did it five times the previous week -- but also: It's really sad. Kind of heartbreaking, actually. Imagine if this were your mom or your grandma. Wouldn't you be upset?
Dialing 911 for non-emergencies is wrong. I know that. And, weirdly, it seems to be all the rage lately -- a woman recently called 911 because she wanted a divorce; and not too long before that, a kid called 911 (twice) to report his annoying mother. 911 is an amazing service that is meant for true emergencies, and tying up the lines for idiotic things like these could cost a person their life. But in Fleurette's case, I don't think it's so cut and dried.
Should she have consequences to pay for misusing 911? Yes. Of course. But also -- this woman needs help. I'm not a therapist, but it sounds like Fleurette has a drinking problem and is pretty depressed. Her actions, regardless of how asinine you think they are, are a cry for help. And although arresting her may teach her to not call 911 again, it isn't going to fix what clearly a lot of authorities know is wrong right now.
In the wake of Aurora and Newtown, there's been a lot of talk about the mental health industry in the United States. It seems we unanimously think it needs to improve. Why not start with someone like Fleurette? Because now if she goes and does something really dangerous to herself or someone else, we'll know it could have been prevented.
What do you think of this?
Image via Indian River County Sheriff's Office