View Full Version : Mother dies after 911 call is treated as prank

04-15-2006, 11:41 PM
Poor kid...

DETROIT - A 5-year-old boy called 911 to report that his mother had collapsed in their apartment, but an operator told him he should not be playing on the phone, and she died before help arrived.

The family of Sherrill Turner, 46, does not know whether a swifter response could have saved her life, but relatives want to know why the operator apparently treated the call as if it were a prank.

Police said the 911 response was under investigation.

Turner's son, Robert, placed two calls to 911 after his mother collapsed Feb. 20 on the kitchen floor. During one of the calls, an operator said: "You shouldn't be playing on the phone."

In a tape of the call, parts of which were broadcast by Detroit-area television stations, the operator said: "Now put her on the phone before I send the police out there to knock on the door and you gonna be in trouble."

In an audio of the tape played on TV, some of what the boy says is unintelligible.

Delaina Patterson, the eldest of Turner's 10 children, said police did not arrive until three hours later. She said only Robert and his mother were home at the time.

Detroit police spokesman James Tate said it was at least an hour before authorities arrived, but he said he did not have details. By that time, the boy's mother had died, he said.

"The operator may have believed he was playing on the phone," Tate said.

The 911 operator remains on the job amid the investigation, Tate said.


Cuban Chick
04-16-2006, 01:35 AM
I heard about that. That's so sad....poor kid.

Capt. 'rold
04-16-2006, 01:44 AM
That's fucked up..where did she get her training, the back of a cereal box?

04-16-2006, 05:32 AM
Just horrible.

04-16-2006, 08:17 AM
damn, poor kid

04-16-2006, 12:30 PM
I think this is same story they've had on the news out here the past few days. Little black kid calls says mom is down and the 911 operator tells the kid to quit prank calling. I thought oh shit, here we go, there's gonna be race riots now because the first words outta the families mouth was that it was an obvious racial issue. When the 911 operator turned out to be black to, that kinda shut them up. Of course that part of the story is getting downplayed now. The last report I saw on it didn't even mention it.

I just thought the whole thing was so sad. Kid loses his mom, the first thing the adults do is blame the white man. The kid just misses his mom and the family teaches him to blame to the white man first. It wasn't to morn the loss; it wasn't to find the facts of the case. The 9 year old lost his mom, did everything he was told to do and the system failed him. It had nothing to do with race. It makes me wonder, why did the 911 operator treat it as a prank? Had there been prior pranks at that addy? Was the operator on crack? Did the operator just not care? Why did the system fail?

I think people have a bad habit of always wanting to blame someone for their loss. People don't seem to be able to except that sometimes shit just happens, mistakes are human nature. But, in this case, wow. I can't believe it's been almost a week now and they don't seem to have any answers for the family yet? I mean the investigation can't be too difficult. A supervisor needs to ask the operator WTF were you thinking. She'll either be able to justify her actions or not. Either way, case closed and the family can move on and at least get some answers.