This morning a friend of mine shared a post that spoke about a woman in Dallas, Texas that was killed by her ex-husband WHILE ON THE PHONE WITH 911. According to the NY Daily News, Deanna Cook was on the phone with 911 pleading for help, a struggle was evident over the phone including screaming, gurgling and choking.
Too little too late.
The police responded to the location 9 minutes later. They said that they knocked on the door, and after receiving no response at the door they left. Two days later the family broke into the house after noticing the Deanna’s absence from church and found her dead.
So what the hell happened here?
The police units state that they were not informed of the urgency of the call when the disturbance was reported. Assuming that this is true, then one can presumably understand why they did not rush to the scene, guns blazing and kicked in the door to save the Deanna. The street units are dependent on that 911 operator for directions on what to do.
What about the 911 operator?
The 911 operator says that they didn’t know what kind of struggle was happening at the location. The operator says their was a disturbance but they had no idea what was happening. I find this terribly confusing seeing as though police transcripts still unreleased, state the following according to the Dallas Morning News:
Police have refused to release the 911 transcript, but the Dallas Morning News reports that “Deanna Cook was heard choking, gurgling . . . screaming ‘Delvecchio, why are you doing this?
I have never received 911 training, nor am I a police officer but I have the common sense to know that if I hear someone screaming for their life on the phone that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE someone may be getting hurt. Yes? Can we agree on this? The daily news reports the 911 operator had this to say:
I can say that it’s obvious that there was an active disturbance taking place, the screaming and things like that, so I can’t say that I knew what was going on, other than there was a disturbance.
Personally I’d like to slap this idiot in the face. All fingers point to this person dropping the ball. This ball cost another human being their life. I have a major problem with this and would like to know what happened too.
We know that the new VAWA has been signed into law, and this may help protect women in the future. But probably not. Criminals generally don’t obey the laws, and I don’t see this making much difference in protecting women. However, it is a step in the right direction and shows that the government is “looking” to protect our women. What we really need to learn and examine from this situation is who we hire for the 911 operator job, the type of training that they should received, and what types of phone calls should be prioritized.
When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
The problem with 911 and police is that they generally arrive at the scene of a crime after the fact and try to piece things together. We know that the cops can’t be everywhere all the time to protect us all, and the truth of the matter is that they generally show up after the crime. This is not their fault, it’s just the nature of the job. This is why I am a firm believer in martial arts, guns, knives, pepper spray, stun guns, and any other forms of self defense. We cannot count on law enforcement to protect us, we must protect ourselves.
That is my view, but many believe that people should not have to carry around guns or other weapons to feel safe, that the law should protect us. Personally I wish this were true, but I do not subscribe to or agree with this theory. I wish I could though. The police are doing the best they can, but as we can see with this situation, a simple mistake in communication on the part of the 911 operator cost a woman her life.
History doesn’t count?
Deanna tweeted out that she felt endangered. She had filed many complaints against the man and somehow he still managed to get to her. Now this is where it gets a little unclear, the daily news makes no mention of how or why the man was at the Deanna’s home. There was no mention that he forced his way into the home, or if she allowed him in, etc. What we do know is that the man did have a history of violence towards this Deanna, and that police had responded to this address many times before.
This is where it gets subjective and knowing more history factors in. For instance, if you came to this house 10 times before on a domestic dispute call, but at the end of it the woman ended up “not pressing charges”, its understandable if a police officer responding to this call may have thought “She forgave him again”. Also by the 911 operator not relaying the urgency it’s understandable that the cops had no idea what was going on. But this is all speculation. I wonder if there is a system in place that flags the 911 call and informs them that this is a home that has had many prior reports for domestic violence?
Questions and answers.
The family of the victim wants answers. They want to know if more could have been done to save her and they are unhappy with the answers they are getting. My condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim. I do not know what the solution to this problem is, but I do feel that in this scenario something needs to give.
Overall stricter laws and consequences need to be implemented to protect women and scare men off from this type of behavior. I also believe that women who are victims of domestic violence need to be educated on their options out of the situation and provided help. But this always comes down to their willingness to accept help and that is no easy discussion.
Perhaps we can even start to educate people on guns and show how many women are actually saved from rapes, beatings, and murder in this country by guns. But I won’t make this a pro-gun article, it’s just something to consider.
To read the entire article click on this link to the Daily News.