911 operator found guilty, sentenced for hanging up on callers

Daniel Fowler
April 20, 2018

Crenshanda Williams, the 911 operator who famously didn't have time to talk with Houston residents trying to report emergencies and hung up on them had her day in court and was not a victor.

Williams' misdeeds were uncovered in Augusts 2016 after a Houston Emergency Center supervisor performed an audit on all calls being handled by the facility. Upon further inspection, prosecutors said officials found Williams had hung up on "thousands" of calls.

Williams' three-day trial ended Wednesday with jurors finding her guilty of interference with emergency telephone calls, a misdemeanor offense. The investigation found recordings of short calls, from reports of robberies to homicides to speeding vehicles, that were connected with Williams hanging up on the caller, per KPRC-TV. "Short calls" are incoming calls with a duration of less than 20 seconds. A man called 911 after an armed robber targeted the convenience store in which he was buying lottery tickets.

Another emergency caller, Jim Moten, called 911 in 2016 after he spotted two cars racing on a highway where two people had recently been killed from speeding, only to be hung up on by Williams, according to charging documents, KPRC reported.

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And especially don't sign up as a 911 operator. According to prosecutors, records showed that Williams had hung up on thousands of short calls. Court documents said Williams answered the call, and before the man could finish explaining, she said, "Ain't nobody got time for this".

Williams' attorney Franklin Bynum blamed "systemic" problems at the Houston Emergency Center that included a call-taking system that drops calls instead of rerouting them if dispatchers are not ready to take them, the Chronicle said.

Buster's wife survived, but he said the memory of Williams' negligence still makes him furious.

He told Click2Houston: 'The 911 operator answered the phone, and she said, "This is Crenshanda, may I help you?" "But punishing her doesn't do anything to fix the problems that still exist at the emergency centre".

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