A 911 dispatcher has been placed on leave and might be fired after admonishing and hanging up on a Tops employee who called for help during the Buffalo shooting that killed 10 people on Saturday. The supermarket's assistant office manager, Latisha Rogers, was hiding from the gunman and had to whisper when she made the call, according to The Washington Post. The dispatcher, who should know after eight years on the job that whispering could be a sign of distress, responded with "a very nasty tone."
From The Washington Post:
"The dispatcher comes on and I'm whispering to her and I said, 'Miss, please send help to 1275 Jefferson there is a shooter in the store,' " Rogers told WGRZ. "She proceeded in a very nasty tone and says, 'I can't hear you, why are you whispering? You don't have to whisper, they can't hear you,' so I continued to whisper and I said, 'Ma'am he's still in the store, he's still shooting! I'm scared for my life, please send help!' Out of nervousness, my phone fell out of my hand, she said something I couldn't make out, and then the phone hung up." …
Rogers had been standing behind the store's customer service counter when the shooting began. As she ducked down to avoid the gunfire, she hurriedly called 911 at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. That's when the Tops employee said the 911 dispatcher flippantly responded to her.
"She got mad at me, hung up in my face," Rogers told the News. After the dispatcher hung up on her, Rogers told local media that she called her boyfriend and directed him to call 911.
The dispatcher was quickly placed on administrative leave and has a hearing set for May 30th, "in which our intention is to terminate the 911 call taker who acted inappropriately not following protocol," said Mark Poloncarz, an Erie County executive (video below). The 911 call has not been released to the public.