Woman finds intruder asleep on her sofa, 911 operator suggests waking him

Originally published at: Woman finds intruder asleep on her sofa, 911 operator suggests waking him | Boing Boing


I mean isn’t waking the person likely the better approach than relying on armed police?


That word is doing a lot of work in that sentence. It all depends, doesn’t it, on the nature of the sleeping intruder and their reaction and intent when woken.


Sure, though I feel like being asleep lowers the likelihood that the person intends to harm the residents. If this happened to me here in the U.S., I would think twice about calling the cops.

It sure seems to me like an important step in fixing the problem of policing is allowing 911 operators to provide suggestions for handling situations that don’t actually require force.


It took four officers to get the man out of her home after he woke up and became aggressive


Yeah but “aggressive” according to whom? Probably the cops? The guy was drunk, so he probably woke up scared and confused. Sorry, but at this point I’m just super hesitant to accept at face value any reporting that doesn’t show some skepticism toward the policing status quo.

I don’t fault the 911 caller for reacting how she did, it’s understandable given her PTSD from a home invasion 12 years ago, but I also don’t think the 911 operator should be demonized here: this is a good example of the type of situation that cops are often called to handle, but could actually be handled by trained social workers.


If you find a stranger sleeping on your couch, it’s best to keep your distance and call someone who can handle it. Armed police aren’t the best option, but neither is the DIY approach suggested by the 911 dispatcher.


It wouldn’t bê polite…


This is why, as a Canadian, I keep Jean Chrétien on speed dial.


Or Wayne and the boys


And that strikes you as the kind of situation a woman should be expected to deal with on her own, even though armed police officers were unwilling to put themselves in that situation without a bunch of backup?


No, that’s not how I feel. I do not believe the 911 operator “expected” her and the roommate to wake the guy.

Like I said, I understand the caller’s perception of the situation, and I feel like she reacted appropriately given her history. But I don’t think the 911 operator was morally wrong to suggest that two people try to wake up a sleeping person. I personally believe that this situation—a person falling asleep where they aren’t supposed to be—is much more likely to end with lives lost if the police get involved, but hey maybe that’s just me :woman_shrugging:

Yeah, that just sounds to me like more evidence of the protocols in place that lead to excessive force.

I don’t know, I guess I’m just not very sympathetic to the cops? They’ve killed a lot of people in my city.

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That’s pretty explicitly what the operator asked them to do.


How often have you walked down the street at night and worried that the man coming up towards you might have bad intentions? Worried that the driver of your taxi/uber/lyft wouldn’t take you where you wanted to go? Worried that the guy at the bar might drug your drink? Worried that the guy at the gym might not like it if you said no?
Suggesting that two women wake a sleeping intruder really isn’t that good an idea. It’s one thing if the guy was a leftover from a party who fell asleep, but this guy had already trespassed into their home.
In a better world the women could have had someone not a cop come help.


Nowhere in the article does it say that the 911 operator was “expecting” the caller to do anything. The 911 caller said that the operator asked if she minded waking up the sleeper. I interpret “do you mind doing X” as a genuine question, not an expectation. It’s ok to say “yes I do mind”

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That was precisely my point. @ugh is the one saying that it would have been a better idea for the women to deal with the problem on their own than to involve the police.

A lot of people call the cops for situations that don’t warrant it, but finding an intruder sleeping in one’s home is a legit reason to call the authorities.


Are you for real right now?

The 911 operator suggested a course of action that would likely put the women in physical danger from an intruder they were clearly terrified of. So maybe stop playing weird word games and admit that that your statement

was perhaps not the objectively superior course of action.


IIRC it was Aline that confronted the intruder. She had a soapstone carving for a weapon, no Shawinigan handshake for her.

Sorry, I am 100% engaging in good faith here and expressing sincere, genuine thoughts. I honestly do not understand what I have done to put that in question. I seriously believe that asking someone if they mind doing something is an inquiry and not a command, but it’s ok if you don’t (I think there might be a cultural difference?)

I understand that you think it would likely put them in danger, and that’s fine, but I personally think it was highly unlikely to put them in danger. If you want me to explain why I think that way, I’m happy to do so, but I’m not posting here trying to make everyone agree with me, just to express my own feelings.

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