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‘We can’t do anything’ 911 says to caller trapped in Virginia protests with baby in car

Fredericksburg police are now speaking out after a 911 dispatcher told a woman who had her baby in the car that they couldn’t help her as she was trying to get home through a crowd of protesters jumping on her car.
(WABI)
Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 10:17 PM EDT
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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WVLT/WJLA) - “We can’t do anything ma’am,” said a Fredericksburg 911 dispatcher. “The city told us that this is a sanctioned event.”

That was the response a woman got after calling 911 as her car was trapped in a crowd of protesters who were allegedly jumping on her car with herself and her baby inside.

“You know this is going to get dangerous,” the caller said. “I got a kid here.”

WJLA reported that Fredericksburg police are now speaking out after a 911 dispatcher told a woman who had her baby in the car that they couldn’t help her as she was trying to get home through a crowd of protesters jumping on her car.

“We would suggest you call up city hall to let them know about your frustrations,” the dispatcher said.

Sara Kirkpatrick, the public information officer with Fredericksburg police released a statement saying: “Since this unfortunate situation, we have had several conversations with the caller. We have also opened a criminal investigation the following day to identify the person who jumped on her car.”

“If a person dials 911 for concerns about a demonstrator in the roadways, they will be notified that an officer is staged one block away,” said Kirkpatrick. “If you express concern for your safety, you can be certain an officer will respond to assist you.”

The city’s mayor, Mary Greenlaw, issued an apology to protesters in a city council meeting on Thursday, but some community members are upset that she did not address the 911 call.

“I am personally sorry,” she said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “The people in our streets on the night of May 31 were motivated to protest by righteous anger and genuine pain. I know that the use of tear gas shocked and frightened them. I apologize to those who went through this fearful experience.”

Copyright 2020 WVLT via WJLA. All rights reserved.

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