Considering all that Amanda Berry, one of three women who had allegedly been held captive for 10 years in a house of horrors, had to go through, it would have been nice if the first call she made after breaking for freedom, to a 911 dispatcher, could have been received with some respect. Instead, the operator sounded rushed, callous, and almost disbelieving. In fact, he hung up on her before a police car even arrived. That was enough to get the public irate and enough to get him investigated, but now there's something even more shocking that might have happened. The 911 operator may have called Amanda Berry a "f***ing b**ch"!! WHAT?!
The call, which grabbed a lot of attention because of the blase attitude of the 911 operator, may have been even worse than originally thought.
A distressed Amanda identifies herself to the dispatcher and says, "I've been kidnapped. I've been missing for 10 years and I'm here. I'm free now."
The operator sounds mildly peeved with the fact that Amanda is giving a different address from the one she's calling from (she was across the street), and when she repeats that she's Amanda Berry, the operator says, "I got that, dear."
The operator, a man, then tries to hang up on her, but thinking better of it, begins to ask descriptive information about Ariel Castro, her alleged abductor. Amanda gives it and then the operator tries to hang up on her again, telling her to talk to police when they get there. He handles the call as if it's someone reporting that a squirrel had climbed through the chimney.
Granted, operators can't get too emotional. He didn't owe Amanda Berry a "thank god you got out of there!" or whatever. In fact, it sounds as if the operator had no idea who Amanda Berry was, which is forgivable. Maybe he just moved to town. Maybe when he's away from work, he doesn't want to hear more bad news and avoids watching it. And it was a long time ago that Amanda went missing.
The operator, however, did owe it to Amanda, and any victim who calls in immediate danger, to at least stay on the phone to make sure help arrives -- which is why the operator is being investigated.
But now here comes news that, at the end of the call, right before the operator hung up, it sounds like he says, "F***ing b**ch." One sound expert confirms that this is what it sounds like. Another says the first word starts with "f" and the second word is "b**ch."
Right before the operator says either this or something that sounds suspiciously like it, you can hear him getting more frustrated with Amanda, who becomes increasingly panicked as she realizes that the operator is about to hang up. "Talk to them when they get there," he says, sounding like he can't wait to get off the phone.
I am not a 911 dispatcher. It's possible his board was lighting up with calls and he needed to get off. I don't know. But if he truly did call Amanda that name, then he seriously is in the wrong business. That's got to be a really tough, stressful job, but you must know what you're getting into when you sign up for it.
No word yet on whether this dispatcher is being reprimanded, retrained, or even fired. But if he did call her this, there's no excuse and something needs to be done about it.
Do you think he should be fired?
Image via 19 Action News