Brickbat: Thorough Investigation


A Mississippi jury has awarded $1 million to the family of Ruth Helen Harrion. Harrion, 67, called 911 to report a prowler at her home. But the dispatcher did not keep her on the line until police arrived and did not ask if Harrion could see the prowler. When Jackson police officers arrived, they knocked at the door, but when no one answered, they left. The family found her body about 11 hours later. She had been beaten, strangled, and shot. Her neck had been broken, and she appeared to have been sexually assaulted.

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  1. Will Mississippi try to get a Warren v. District of Columbia ruling?

  2. But wait – there’s more!

    “The dispatcher, Debra Goldman, and officers Derrick Evans and Tommie Heard were later fired but reinstated by the Jackson Civil Service Commission, according to court records.”

    1. Residents of Jackson can rest assured that when seconds count, police are still only going to be 11 hours away.

  3. Heros

  4. Alonzo Stewart, 33, is charged with capital murder in Harrion’s death. He confessed to the crime, according to authorities, and told police he was in Harrion’s home when the officers came and left.

    He stayed quiet to make certain those officers made it home safe.

  5. Look, you bitch when the cops show up at the wrong house, flash-bang the kiddies, shoot the dog, slap around the occupants and destroy the house and you bitch when the cops show up and do nothing to stop somebody from raping and beating and killing an old lady. What do you want them to do? Cops are binary, they do nothing or they do something horrible, it’s not like there’s a middle position.

    1. Having the cops kick the door in probably isn’t the best option, but how hard would it have been for the dispatcher to stay on the line until the cops got there?

  6. $1 million?? That’s it?? They should at least throw in the dispatcher’s pension and retirement fund, as well as the police chief’s.

    1. She was old. The police just could not justify tapping into their license plate reader grant and gadget fund.

  7. You will never change government worker behavior by making tax payers pony up for large verdicts. Government workers spend exactly zero time worrying about tax payer money.

    1. They could write it into government employee contracts that they’ll pay a portion of any verdicts against the city. The private sector docs people’s pay all the time.

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