This week, a 911 Dispatcher who responded to a call from the May 16 Buffalo Shooting in a Tops Grocery store that left ten dead was fired for their negligent handling of the emergency phone call.
According to a report from CNN, The 911 dispatcher has been on paid administrative leave since May 16. The county’s leadership held an internal hearing on May 30, in which they decided to “terminate the 911 call taker who acted totally inappropriately, not following protocol.”
Latisha Rogers, the assistant office manager for the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, was working at the store when the shooting occurred. It was her call to 911 that was grossly mishandled.
Rogers hid behind a counter as the shooting occurred, “praying that he didn’t see me,” she told CNN.
She said she reached into her back pocket to grab her phone and call 911, which she proceeded to whisper when the dispatcher answered. Rogers feared the shooter would find her if he could hear her voice, which could put her life in danger.
The dispatcher asked her why she was whispering during the call.
“What? I can’t hear you,” the dispatcher responded. “Why are you whispering? You don’t have to whisper; they can’t hear you.”
The dispatcher then “said something I couldn’t make out, and then the phone hung up.”
Rogers then called her boyfriend and told him to call 911 to send the police to the store.
County Executive Mark Poloncarz said that officials reviewed all of the emergency calls from that day, and this call “stood out.” He noted that “the 911 operator was inappropriate.” He said that the county leadership teaches “our 911 call takers that if someone is whispering, it probably means they are in trouble.”