May 4, 2009

America's priorities in a fucking nutshell

The American obsession with profanity reaches its apex in this story out of Michigan about a police officer who hangs up on a 911 caller because she says the word fuck.

It happened a while ago, but Boing-Boing just discovered it, so that makes it new to the nets. This transcript of the ABC news story begins after 17-year-old Adrainne Ledesma calls 911 to report that her father is having a severe seizure.

She says she got no quick answer, so she hung-up and called again. Now you know those emergency calls are recorded, but did you know the recording starts even before the call is answered?

So you can hear her near-panic when again she canít get an immediate answer, blurting out the f-word just as the call is picked up.

Ledesma: What the fuck.

Officer Robert McFarland: 911.

Ledesma: I need an ambulance at (address).

Sgt. McFarland: Well, okay, first of all you donít need to swear over 9-1-1 and slow down.

Ledesma: Send me a fucking ambulance!

(Call is disconnected. Ledesma calls again.)

Sgt. McFarland: 911.

Ledesma: Are you going to give me an ambulance?

Sgt. McFarland: Are you going to swear again, you stupid ass?

Ledesma: Are we going to have an fucking problem?

Sgt. McFarland: No, youíre not going to get one!

Ledesma: Do you want to fucking lose your job?

(Call is disconnected. Ledesma calls again)

After yet a third futile call, Ledesma runs to the police office, understandably still cursing, where she is arrested for disorderly conduct and the non-existing crime of abusing 911. Eventually everything ends up OK. Dad is fine, the charges against the girl are dropped, and the cop -- who eventually sent an ambulance while lying to the dispatcher about why it took so long -- is suspended without pay for a couple of weeks.

But the real hero here is local news reporter Steve Wilson who indulges in absolutely none of the expected "of course this bratty teenager shouldn't have used foul language" nonsense that one might have expected. He reserves out outrage entirely for Sgt. McFarland. For once, I'm willing to forgive the fact that the curse words are bleeped out in the story itself.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


"Are you going to swear again, you stupid ass?"


Police are hired thugs, an invading force paid to keep US citizens in line. Thought you knew.

Invading from where, JD? I'm curious.

Uh, the other Jared, sorry.

"Invading from where, JD? I'm curious."

Certainly from a different cultural mindset, as this recording shows, and often a community far from where they work, geographic, cultural and economic. There is not just a widespread lack of empathy for the people they supposedly serve, but an institutionalized adversarial stance. Quotas, profiling, incident after incident of excessive force is what, coincidence? An extraordinary plethora of anomalies?

I wonder if people who are really offended by strong language sound something like this when they have sex:

"Excuse me dear, but I feel such a strong urge to increase the population with you!"
"Oh, darling! Go right ahead, my womanhood is quite moist!"

'Roid Rage?

Look, if my parent were seizing on the floor, I'd expect an ambulance there no matter what, and be ready to bite someone if there wasn't. But this story would all be a a lot more agitating if every account of it I've read so far wasn't conflicting. This is what happens with everyone wanting to dedicate their particular spin to it, whether it's police or bloggers.

@Editrixie. What other accounts of this story have you read, because I looked at pretty much everyone one I could find. What's more, the video has the recording of the 911 call. You don't need to hear anyone's "spin" to judge that for yourself. The girl actually sounds pretty calm and reasonable, much more so than just reading the transcript would make you think.

I pray that Samuel L. Jackson never needs an ambulance in that town ...

Police really do think they are above the law, and above reproach. Unfortunately, it seems a certain type is generally drawn to want to be police officers (and usually for all the wrong reasons), and that type of person is generally the last type you want doing that job.

I agree that the police attitude is plain wrong, but she could have stop swearing to get the ambulance and later on complain about this fucker.

This article is hilarious.
I cant believe this is true

Sack the piece of shit officer!!

You can tell the NWO is pushing hard to generate anotehr Civil war, can't you?!

well said Radosh, you fucking cunt.

"I agree that the police attitude is plain wrong"

WTF? Do you hear the girl? Who started it? She cops an attitude swearing at (yes, directed toward) the 911 dispatcher immediately, feeling no remorse, and just being mean.

"calm and reasonable" hah. you're delusional radosh

@Ben J. You're a friend of McFarland aren't you? I did to the recording. She NEVER swears at the cop. The first time she says "what the fuck" it's WHILE the phone is ringing, because she's now called 911 twice and no one is picking up. He hears her and instead of asking what her emergency is, tells her to stop swearing. What does she have to feel "remorseful" for, unless there's something terribly wrong with swearing when you think your father is dying and you can't get help?

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