If I told you a 911 operator hung up on thousands of desperate people dealing with life threatening emergencies, what would you assume the punishment would be for that crime?
Just so we're clear about the crime, we're talking about someone who's condescending negligence endangered the lives of literally thousands of people.
So what should the punishment be? A decade in prison? Five years? One year?
Well it turns out you only get about a week in jail and several months of probation if you're a government employee who denies people access to emergency services during moments of crisis.
A former Houston-area 911 operator will spend 10 days locked in a concrete cell followed by 18 months of probation.
Meet Crenshanda Williams. She's 44 years old, which is old enough to know better.
She's been found guilty of interference with emergency telephone calls after she spent a year and a half (not) taking emergency calls at the Houston Emergency Center.
In August 2016 she was fired by the city for hanging up on thousands of emergency-ridden individuals.
Her supervisor was also placed on a year of internal probation, which means almost nothing.
This whole fiasco came to a climax when HEC officials performing routine audits of 911 calls noticed a high number of calls lasted less than 20 seconds.
Now prosecutors claim a review of call records shows Williams hung up on “thousands” of people during these "short calls".
So what was happening to people when she hung up on them?
Well, one call involved a witness to a violent robbery. Another pertained to a car race in a place where someone had recently died in an accident.
Her attorney, Franklin Bynum, said “She was going through a hard time in her life, and she was a poor performing worker at the Houston Emergency Center. But punishing her doesn’t do anything to fix the problems that still exist at the emergency center.”
Fix the problems? It sounds like the problem was fixed the day she was fired. She's lucky they couldn't trace any deaths directly to her actions. But only 18 months probation for endangering the lives of her fellow Houstonians? Seems like a pretty light sentence. Like most of you, I've never been a big fan of lawyers or government employees and this news story has cemented both of those beliefs for me.
Crenshanda Williams is the worst kind of person. I hope this incident haunts her for the rest of her life.