Mendelson has questions about newly released 911 tape

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The D.C. Councilmember who chairs the committee that oversees the city’s 911 call center says he’s disturbed by a newly released 911 call that gives a chilling look at 2010 murder.

A man sees trouble and calls 911, but it takes a dispatcher in D.C. almost five minutes to figure out where the caller is. Not long after, you can hear on the tape the sound of man being shot and killed.

The call, made in 2010, was used at trial last month to get a first-degree murder conviction. Rickey Pharr was convicted of killing Angelo Jones in Northeast. He faces a minimum sentence of 35 years.

“It’s disturbing, because in an emergency somebody calls for help and they expect help, not a five minute conversation that ends with gunshots,” says D.C. Councilmember Phil Mendelson, who chairs the committee that oversees the city’s Office of Unified Communications, which includes 911.

“You look at this particular situation and it’s just frustrating. You feel for the guy who was calling, five minutes on the phone trying to explain where he is, and he doesn’t know. But he’s got a good enough idea that you would think they could have sent emergency response.”

Mendelson says the OUC has the technology to find out not only the phone number of a 911 caller, but a caller’s actual location.

He wants to know why it either wasn’t used or didn’t work in this case.

“They (The OUC) come up for their budget very soon, and I’ll ask questions about it,” says Mendelson.

The audio was posted by Homicide Watch.

Listen to it below.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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