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Oct 22 - 911 Allegedly Hung Up on a Man Who Wouldn’t Speak English. He Died.



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 1 month ago '11        #1
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Oct 22 - 911 Allegedly Hung Up on a Man Who Wouldn’t Speak English. He Died.
 

 
So did his 14-year-old nephew.

When a Spanish-speaking man in Allentown, Pennsylvania, called Lehigh County’s 911 center to report a fire at the home where he lived with his 14-year-old nephew, a dispatcher allegedly told him to speak English as he frantically begged for help, then hung up.

Both the man and the teenager died, according to a federal lawsuit filed by seven of the center’s former employees this week.

The ex-dispatchers’ complaint, which was filed in a federal court Wednesday, alleges that some of their white co-workers openly spoke about how much they disliked taking emergency calls from Spanish-speaking residents—sometimes forcing Latino callers to speak English or be denied a*sistance. During the call about the house fire and others, certain employees would also allegedly refuse to use translation services, according to the lawsuit, which was first reported by local media.

The former workers’ grievances go well beyond accusations of racism and allege an overall culture of chaos and incompetence at the 911 center in Lehigh County. When the ex-employees spoke out about behavior they felt risked locals’ safety, though, they say they faced retaliation.

Among their complaints: A supervisor watched soap operas and sold nail polish on the job, according to the lawsuit, while one employee slept during his shifts, resulting in “countless calls going unanswered.”

Sometimes dispatchers would also play cornhole during work hours, leading to “delays and missed emergency calls, including police calls, fire calls and calls involving life-threatening situations,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit additionally alleges that Allentown’s digital radio system was not fully functioning, creating safety hazards, while some 911 dispatchers failed to monitor the “fire ground” channels established during working fires.

At times, local police and fire staff allegedly joined in to bemoan “unnecessary delays in the dispatch of emergency calls,” according to the lawsuit.

After the group of dispatch workers involved in the lawsuit “complained to county supervisors that the 911 center was a hostile environment to callers who were minorities and were not fluent in the English language, especially Latinos/Hispanic callers,” among other concerns, they were punished, according to their complaint, which alleges violations of the former employees’ First and 14th Amendment rights.

The ex-dispatchers’ lawsuit names Lehigh County and several current and former county officials as defendants. The complaint demands compensatory damages of at least $150,000 for each of the seven ex-workers as well as back pay and the resumption of their employment, among other requests.

Lehigh County Solicitor Thomas Caffrey did not immediately return VICE News’ request for comment regarding the complaint.

The dispatchers grievances, which were repeatedly passed on to county supervisors, allegedly came to a head during a town hall meeting in December 2019, when one worker involved in the lawsuit publicly said he was concerned about the county’s safety, accusing the administration and supervisors of “negligently and recklessly overseeing the operation of the 911 center.”

That “embarrassed and infuriated” some county officials, the lawsuit alleges, eventually culminating in a disastrous New Year’s Eve toast that cost the lawsuit’s plaintiffs their jobs.

A longtime administrator and supervisor at the 911 center, who allegedly faced “racially hostile comments” herself, allegedly received permission from the county’s director of emergency services to make coquito mixed drinks for a single toast during a Dec. 31 shift.

Then, although supervisors had drunk and distributed alcohol on county property before, the several people who had complained about the 911 center’s operations were fired or forced to resign for participating in the toast, during which they drank an eggnog mix with “a minuscule amount of alcohol,” according to the lawsuit.

As a result, the current and former county officials named as defendants in the lawsuit “improperly and unlawfully acted to impart unwarranted and unwelcome discipline to plaintiffs in retaliation for plaintiffs’ exercising their well-established First Amendment rights of freedom of speech as citizens on matters of public concern,” their complaint alleges.

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23 comments
 

 1 month ago '17        #2
DaQCKing  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x6
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Everybody that work there is going down. n*ggas playing corn hole and ignoring the phone ringing. That racist sh*t towards Spanish speaking calls is just the tip of the iceberg. How many more deaths can be attributed to them watching soap operas instead of doing their job?
+17   

 1 month ago '10        #3
sho 2010  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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White people
+16   

 1 month ago '13        #4
hoodnurd 
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The system is fu*ked I called 911 from my wife’s phone after some freeway fu*kery I got put on hold since then I thought about buying a gun but I know she’ll shoot me once she finds out I’m cheating on her
+10   

 1 month ago '04        #5
ddash 
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 hoodnurd said
The system is fu*ked I called 911 from my wife’s phone after some freeway fu*kery I got put on hold since then I thought about buying a gun but I know she’ll shoot me once she finds out I’m cheating on her
Whale Damn
Well you could always just not cheat tho
+9   

 1 month ago '05        #6
Soprano ATL  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3
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 hoodnurd said
The system is fu*ked I called 911 from my wife’s phone after some freeway fu*kery I got put on hold since then I thought about buying a gun but I know she’ll shoot me once she finds out I’m cheating on her
+6   

 1 month ago '17        #7
DaQCKing  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x6
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 hoodnurd said
The system is fu*ked I called 911 from my wife’s phone after some freeway fu*kery I got put on hold since then I thought about buying a gun but I know she’ll shoot me once she finds out I’m cheating on her
What a helluva twist
+8   

 1 month ago '20        #8
Ball Man  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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I swear blacks, natives, minorities aren't even humans in the eyes of these kkk sympathizers...




Now introducing one of Boxdens very own kkk sympathizers... can't hide it anymore ay...




Last edited by Ball Man; 10-23-2021 at 02:00 PM..
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 1 month ago '06        #9
imthatinfamous  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 hoodnurd said
The system is fu*ked I called 911 from my wife’s phone after some freeway fu*kery I got put on hold since then I thought about buying a gun but I know she’ll shoot me once she finds out I’m cheating on her
+2   

 1 month ago '17        #10
lucifershammer  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x4
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Sometimes dispatchers would also play cornhole during work hours,
I've done the same on the clock


 1 month ago '18        #11
dogfood2 
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White people are the biggest savages historically speaking. Don't know why n*ggas be on that "they're glad we don't retaliate" bullsh*t.

n*gga retaliate. Eye for an eye.
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 1 month ago '10        #12
Big Louie Guwop  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x6
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Despicable culture
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 1 month ago '11        #13
xArchangeLx 
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Even if you don't speak Spanish it's easy to understand the general gist of it

Operators were just pieces of sh*t
Hope they suffer for this
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 1 month ago '04        #14
Chokeabiish 
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Sounds about wyte.
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 1 month ago '20        #15
LordGimmeASign 
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I thought there was a hispanic presence in that part of PA along with nearby towns but then again, I heard it can get racist over there too.

All that dispatcher did was just prove Public Enemy's point...
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 1 month ago '20        #16
LordGimmeASign 
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 ddash said
Whale Damn
Well you could always just not cheat tho
If he doesn't cheat then he is gonna be with me and the guys and 'em ranting on @'s threads lol.



Nah just kidding, but yeah if shorty's solid, don't cheat and stay safe.

 1 month ago '20        #17
LordGimmeASign 
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 dogfood2 said
White people are the biggest savages historically speaking. Don't know why n*ggas be on that "they're glad we don't retaliate" bullsh*t.

n*gga retaliate. Eye for an eye.
The cards aren't stacked in our favor to retaliate effectively with violence.

The only ways to do that sans violence would be to have some laws changed and to not support their businesses financially and you see we had more of our own black-owned businesses and more laws were being fought for to be changed in our favor pre-integration; I wonder why this is where we're at amid integration...



Last edited by LordGimmeASign; 10-23-2021 at 08:26 AM..
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 1 month ago '15        #18
RIPrjacks23 
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I hope they win everything they are asking for & the officials get fired. If the racist idiots were black people, the county prosecutors would find a way to charge them with something criminal guaranteed.
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 1 month ago '21        #19
Tinfoil Kufi 
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 hoodnurd said
The system is fu*ked I called 911 from my wife’s phone after some freeway fu*kery I got put on hold since then I thought about buying a gun but I know she’ll shoot me once she finds out I’m cheating on her
Why are you cheating ? I'm curious

 1 month ago '20        #20
Agent Vakabon 
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 hoodnurd said
The system is fu*ked I called 911 from my wife’s phone after some freeway fu*kery I got put on hold since then I thought about buying a gun but I know she’ll shoot me once she finds out I’m cheating on her
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 1 month ago '17        #21
Naga Sadow  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x20
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 LordGimmeASign said
I thought there was a hispanic presence in that part of PA along with nearby towns but then again, I heard it can get racist over there too.

All that dispatcher did was just prove Public Enemy's point...
All the peeps I know in Allentown are Hispanic along with that area. I'm shocked that they don't have someone who speaks Spanish on call 24/7.
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 1 month ago '14        #22
NYSTATEOFMIND 
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Before I clicked on the thread ....somehow I knew it was Pennsylvania
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 1 month ago '19        #23
TheKingofClowns 
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 Ball Man said
I swear blacks, natives, minorities aren't even humans in the eyes of these kkk sympathizers...




Now introducing one of Boxdens very own kkk sympathizers... can't hide it anymore ay...



Damn you didn't even say white people just kkk simpathizer, funny how some white folk get offended when you put a spotlight on their most valued group..
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 1 month ago '08        #24
Ron O'Neal 
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Allentown has a huge Spanish population. I'm actually shocked that the 911 call center out there doesn't require their workers to be bilingual.



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