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911 operator tips off boyfriend, sends police on wild goose chase

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The job of a 911 operator is to help the authorities respond to emergencies. An operator in Wilmington, Del., did just that. But instead of relaying after a report of gunfire she had received to police, she instead phoned her boyfriend, who in turn tipped off the shooter, a buddy. The operator did eventually pass the dispatch along to authorities, but only to send them deliberately to the wrong address.

According to the Lancaster Eagle Gazette:

26-year-old Alleshia L. Kennedy ... was working on Jan. 9 when a call came in about a shooting just before 11 p.m. A caller, who had reported shots fired moments earlier to a different 911 operator, was calling back to say she got the address wrong and said the shots came from a different home several doors down.

[…]

But instead of entering the new address, police say Kennedy used her cellphone to call her boyfriend, who in turn immediately texted someone named "Crook" to warn him, "Bro sum lady called the cops and told â?¦ (your) crib iz where the shots came from."

The boyfriend, Deontay Willingham, 24, is a convicted felon.

Normal protocol dictates that when a 911 operator receives a call, the information is entered into a computer system so that a dispatcher can relay the information to officers in the field.

If the 911 call taker does not enter the notes for the call for service, the 911 dispatcher is unaware of the incident, and the call for service will not be dispatched to officers.

The investigation of Kennedy was apparently launched after Willingham was arrested on Jan. 16 after a high-speed chase. Police say he was wearing body armor and had a loaded .45-caliber handgun and a loaded .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle in his car.

Authorities also recovered two cellphones, one of which contained Willingham’s text to "Crook," prompting them to review 911 recordings from Jan. 9. In addition to identifying Kennedy's voice on the recordings, police checked her cellphone and determined that she had spoken with Willingham both before and after the shooting.

Kennedy was arrested late on Jan. 27 and charged with hindering prosecution, official misconduct, and malicious interference with emergency communications. She was released on $6,000 secured bond. She faces up to 2 1/2 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

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