911 dispatcher fired for hanging up on caller reporting Buffalo shooting: report

911 dispatcher fired for hanging up on caller reporting Buffalo shooting: report
Police outside Tops in Buffalo, New York, after a gunman murdered 10 Black people in a racially-charged attack on Saturday, May 14th, 2022 (screengrab/6abc Philadelphia/YouTube).

Erie County has fired a 911 dispatcher who hung up on a Tops grocery store employee who was trying to report the mass shooting in which ten people were killed, WIVB-TV reported Thursday.

Latisha Rogers, an assistant office manager at the store, described what happened when she called 911 while hiding from the gunman behind the customer service counter.

Rogers was interviewed by The Buffalo News the day after the massacre.

"She was yelling at me, saying, 'Why are you whispering? You don't have to whisper,'" Rogers said, "and I was telling her, 'Ma'am, he's still in the store. He's shooting. I'm scared for my life. I don't want him to hear me. Can you please send help?' She got mad at me, hung up in my face."

After being hung up on, Rogers called her boyfriend and told her boyfriend to call 911 to report the mass shooting.

"I felt that lady left me to die yesterday," Rogers told the newspaper.

Following Rogers' statement, the 911 dispatcher was placed on administrative leave.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz explained to the newspaper why the dispatcher's actions were "completely unacceptable."

"We teach our 911 call takers that if somebody's whispering, it probably means they are in trouble," he said.

The suspect has been charged with a domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate, 10 counts of murder in the first degree, 10 counts of murder in the second degree as a hate crime, 3 counts of attempted murder in the second degree as a hate crime, and a felony gun charge.

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