2 Detroit officers suspended, 1 commander demoted over response time

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - Betty's daughter called 911 after a fight escalated outside their house.  Officers did not respond for 90 minutes, and ended up being too late to help her.

"If police had come when my daughter started calling them, I believe it would have prevented right then, the shooting," said Betty.  We are not using Betty's last name to protect the identity of her daughter.

A man shot Betty's 37-year-old daughter with an AK-47.  The bullet ripped through her daughter's chest, through the window frame, and all the way into the fridge.  A neighbor drove her to the hospital before police even showed up to the house.

"She told the guy next door please don't let me die," said Betty.

When the dispatcher finally sent out officers, the cruiser arrived within 8 minutes.  Betty said the man had shot her daughter five minutes before police got to the house.  Her daughter is still in critical condition.

"It's blessing that she made it, you know.  It really is," said Betty.

The shooting is the second time over the past four months where a 911 dispatcher failed to follow protocol.  Detroit Police Chief James Craig said another incident stems from May when a dispatcher failed to send out a car for a domestic dispute for 90 minutes and a woman was stabbed to death. 

Chief Craig said both of the dispatchers have been suspended without pay and he is seeking criminal charges against one of them.  Chief Craig also said he demoted the commander of 911 and reassigned him because maintenance issues were also discovered with the system.

"We're in the business of saving lives and certainly if our inaction results in injury or death, that's problematic.  That's unacceptable," said Chief Craig.

Those are words that people like Betty are counting on so others don't have to share her pain and suffering.  The chief said he is reviewing the entire system to make sure priority one calls are responded to immediately by officers.

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