An emergency dispatcher present during Maya Angelou’s 911 call was suddenly suspended. It’s said that the emergency dispatcher was suspended after making unfavorable remarks about media mogul and personal friend of Angelou’s, Oprah Winfrey.
According to Entertainment Tonight, the EMS Director Dan Ozimek gave a statement to the television show in regards to the behavior of dispatcher John Ruckh.
“These comments are unacceptable and we have opened an internal investigation to look into the circumstances surrounding this event.”
During the 911 tape, John Ruckh’s comments about Oprah Winfrey boldly alleged that Winfrey had “fallen out of grace.” These remarks were made due to a controversial interview Oprah gave about her opinions on the current race war in America.
While it’s not confirmed which interview Ruckh was referring to, it’s a good chance that it might be Winfrey’s BBC interview. In 2013, she sat down with BBC while promoting her film Lee Daniels’ The Butler. During the interview, Winfrey said that President Barack Obama was disrespected because of his race.
“Yeah, I think that there is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs, and that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African-American. There’s no question about that and it’s the kind of thing nobody ever says but everybody’s thinking it.”
Winfrey concluded that she thinks America still has a problem with race and that African Americans are still to this day “terrorized because of the color of their skin, because of the color of their black skin.”
The emergency dispatcher who was on the phone for Maya Angelou’s 911 responded to the controversy surrounding his comments and his suspension.
“This is in no way a racial slur, slander, associated conversation… I really hate that this happened at the time that it did, because this is taking away from Maya Angelou’s passing.”
As we previously reported poet and American author Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86 at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina this past Wednesday.
In a statement, Oprah Winfrey said of her passing:
“I’ve been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my twenties. She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher.”
To see Oprah’s full statement click here.
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