On Friday night of last week, a verdict was handed down to the family of Ruth Harrion of Jackson Mississippi in Hinds County Circuit Court. The trial started Monday of last week and the jury found that proper policy and procedures were not followed by both the 911 dispatch and the Police.
On July 15th, 2014, Ruth Harrion called 911 at approximately 2.25 am to complain of a prowler in her vicinity. The 911 tape was obtained by the Clarion Ledger, according to the article written up in USA today by Jimmie Gates this past weekend. The crux of the case starts at this point. The 911 Operator failed to keep Ms. Harrion on the line to obtain key information. As the Operator did not ask the location of the prowler nor did the operator ask if Ms. Harrion could see the prowler.
The Police arrived at Ms. Harrion’s home very quickly, around 8 minutes and knocked on the door but when no one answered, they apparently left without checking the parameter of the home. Eleven hours later the body of Ms. Harrion was discovered – beaten, strangled, neck broken and apparently signs of sexual assault, according to the article.
Alonzo Stewart, 33 was arrest and charged with Capital Murder. The article mentions Stewart confessed to the crime and that he was in Harrion’s home when the Officers came and left. His trial apparently is set for Dec 2nd of this year. Why so long? According to the article he suffered from mental issues.
Folks, I have a few issues with this case. No doubt the Police dropped the ball as did the 911 Dispatcher. I have a great deal of respect for the men and women of the Police force. They do a great job protecting society and deserve our respect but every once and a while a situation comes up that makes you shake your head. This is one of them.
The one million $ fine is too low in my mind given the nature of the case and the fact this murder could have been prevented.
Finally, let’s put the onus one the real criminal- Alonzo Stewart who deserves a Life sentence!