Crenshanda Williams, a former 911 operator from Houston, Texas, was found guilty of interfering with emergency calls this week. According to the Houston Chronicle, she hung up on “thousands” of calls that included murder and violent robbery. Williams’ actions were revealed in monthly audits that found a high number of calls shorter than 20 seconds.
KTRK reports that in 2016, a 911 caller reported two vehicles racing down a highway. Williams hung up within seconds. Court documents revealed that Williams cut the caller off, then said, “Ain't nobody got time for this. For real.”
Assistant District Attorney Lauren Reeder said in a statement, “The citizens of Harris County rely on 911 operators to dispatch help in their time of need. When a public servant betrays the community's trust and breaks the law, we have a responsibility to hold them criminally accountable.”
Williams worked at the call center for two and a half years before being caught and fired in August of 2016. The Houston Emergency Center opened in 2003 to consolidate the city’s emergency management services and receives around 9,000 calls a day.
Williams’ lawyer, Franklin Bynum, explained Williams’ habit of “systematically” hanging up on emergency calls by saying she “was going through a hard time in her life.” He also cited problems at the emergency center where Williams worked, such as a faulty call system. Bynum expects the ruling to be overturned on appeal.
The manager of the Houston Emergency Center, Joe Laud, responded to Williams’ behavior by saying, “We feel that her actions do not represent all the call takers in this facility or call takers in general. They have a very specific interest in doing a great job in providing emergency response to people.”
A jury found the 44-year-old guilty and she was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months probation.