The 911 operator who responded to Richard Sherman‘s wife’s frantic call for help with her husband and former Seahawks player late last week is now under investigation following mounting backlash from the public who accused the dispatcher of being unprofessional and even insensitive to Ashley Moss.
According to Kiro 7, King County Sheriff Office is confirmed to be looking into the call that took place on Wednesday, July 14. In an excerpt from the transcript between the dispatcher and Moss obtained by the news outlet, the operator appears to grow impatient with Moss, trying to explain that her husband was threatening to cause harm after a night of drinking.
“I need officers to my house now, my husband is drunk and belligerent,” Moss explained. “Stop, stop, what’s the address? Is there a weapon?” the operator asked. When Moss struggles to tell the dispatcher that there are no weapons she, in turn, says, “You need to stop interrupting me so I can get the information I need.”
About a 1 minute and 45 seconds into the call, Moss emotionally reveals that the free agent was threatening to cause self-harm, stating, “He’s sent text messages to people saying he’s going to hang himself. And if the police show up, please don’t shoot is what I’m asking.” She added, “It’s Richard Sherman, like ma’am this is a f-cking emergency, I need officers here now!”
The dispatcher fires back, “Listen to me, I’m handling this! You need to stop telling me that! Talking to me is not going to slow help down.” Later in the interaction, a man joined Moss on the call. The dispatcher reacted by saying, “Sir, I only talk to one person, so please put the phone down.”
Despite the outcry, a former King Country Sheriff John Urquhart, came to the dispatcher’s defense, telling the news outlet that the woman’s reactions were justified. “The dispatcher has certain information she has to get, and she has to get it right now,” Urquhart said. He added, “She’s short with the woman because she’s taking control. Any time you’re in a conversation with someone, when someone takes control, that makes people step back and say, ‘Hey, wow what’s going on here?’ But in this case, they don’t understand why it’s so important, why it’s absolutely critical, and it can be life and death. They may be upset with kind of the tone of it. But when you realize all that has to be done, it’s just fine.” He stated that he didn’t believe any policies were violated.
As previously reported, Sherman was arrested on Wednesday, July 14, at his in-laws’ residence in Redmond, Washington. He was hit with several charges, including one on suspicion of burglary domestic violence, after reportedly getting into an argument with his wife’s father, Raymond Moss. Police also stated that the athlete broke the door to get into the home. Charges were reduced to second-degree criminal trespass, leaving him to face only misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor charges. Sherman has pleaded not guilty to these charges but has since been ordered not to have any contact with his father-in-law. He was later released the following day on his own recognizance, CNN reported.
Sherman has since issued an apology on Instagram. In it, the athlete wrote that he was “deeply remorseful for my actions.” He continued, “I behaved in a manner I am not proud of. I have been dealing with some personal challenges over the last several months, but that is not an excuse for how I acted.” He concluded his statement vowing to seek treatment and thank his wife, family and support system.