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Cops are here to protect you. (#9)

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 15 years ago, in 2009, on the World Wide Web.

Government cops are here to protect you by hanging up on your 911 call without finding out what your emergency is, and then refusing to send an ambulance, because, in your panic over the fact that your father was on the ground shaking from a seizure, you happened to offend their delicate sensibilities with your vulgar tongue:

Adrianne Ledesma [while 911 is recording but handset is still ringing]: What the fuck?

Sergeant Robert McFarlan: 911.

Adrianne: I need an ambulance at [REDACTED]

Sergeant Robert McFarlan: Well, OK, first of all, you don’t need to swear over 911–

Adrianne: OK

Sergeant Robert McFarlan: –and slow down.

Adrianne: Send me a fucking ambulance!


At this point, Sergeant Robert McFarlan hung up the phone.

Adrianne dialed 911 again.

Sergeant Robert McFarlan: 911.

Adrianne: Um, are you going to give me an ambulance?

Sergeant Robert McFarlan: Are you going to swear again, you stupid ass [sic]?

Adrianne: Are we going to have a fucking problem?

Sergeant Robert McFarlan: No, you’re not going to get one!

Adrianne: Are we going to have a fucking problem? Do you want to fucking lose your job?


At this point, Sergeant Robert McFarlan hung up on her again.

After she called back a third time, and he hung up on her a third time, McFarlan sent a squad car, not an ambulance, down to the address she’d given him. After all, there was a filthy-mouthed girl on the loose. But Ledesma had already left the house go over to the police station in person in a desperate attempt to get some help, and to tell them what was going on. When she arrived at the police station, the cops proceeded to handcuff and arrest her for Disorderly Conduct and for Abusing 911. As it turns out, there is no such crime as Abusing 911 in Lincoln Park, but, hey, never mind.

The boss cop admits that McFarlan was completely in the wrong. The response to his behavior–which subjected an innocent young woman to a completely baseless arrest, and endangered a man’s life by denying him medical care in an emergency, and all for absolutely no reason other than to indulge this punk cop’s take-charge attitude, his finely-tuned sense of propriety, and his truly awesome sense of entitlement–the response, I say, was to give Sergeant Robert McFarlan a two-week vacation and call it discipline.

(Via Ace of Spades HQ 2009-05-04 and Balko 2009-05-04, via The Quick and the Dead 2009-05-05.)

See also:

7 replies to Cops are here to protect you. (#9) Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Jeffrey Quick

    Thanks for the ping. At least it’s UNPAID leave. That’s a refreshing change.

  2. Mike Gogulski

    Disgusting. Should’a called a taxi.

  3. Laura J.

    Mike Gogulski,

    “Disgusting” was my exact thought as well. There’s something completely and viscerally revolting about the tale – I’m not sure I can even dignify the man’s behavior with a proper sense of anger. Such a petty disregard for anything valuably human…

  4. Andrea Shepard

    Ulch. Disgusting is right. There’s something dead and rotting deep inside people who enjoy wielding power like that.

  5. Mike Gogulski

    Laura: Exactly. May we now forget about our viscera, for the mere sake of eating.

· June 2009 ·

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-06-22 – The Police Beat:

    […] GT 2009-05-08: Cops are here to protect you. (#9) […]

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