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A 911 dispatcher has been fired after being accused of mishandling a dire call from a supermarket employee who quietly pleaded for help as a white gunman opened fire in Buffalo, New York, last month, killing 10 Black people.
The dispatcher was fired at a Thursday disciplinary hearing after they were placed on administrative leave on May 16 “while the mishandled call was investigated,” Peter Anderson, spokesperson for County Executive Mark Poloncarz, told USA TODAY.
The dispatcher, whose name has not been released, was an employee with the county for eight years, he said.
The grocery store employee who called 911 was hiding on the floor behind a customer service counter during the devastating shooting at Tops Friendly Markets on the city’s Near East Side.
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She told the Buffalo News that she whispered while during the call, afraid the shooter might hear her. She told the newspaper the dispatcher shouted at her, asked why she was whispering, then hung up.
Poloncarz told CNN the response was “completely unacceptable,” adding that while it was not clear who ended the call, “the 911 operator was inappropriate.”
“We teach our 911 call takers that if someone is whispering, it probably means they are in trouble,” Poloncarz said.
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Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.