CLEVELAND - The Fox 8 I-Team has learned a dispatcher involved in the Tamir Rice case has been disciplined for an unrelated call even as questions still swirl about how the Rice call was handled.
Records show Constance Hollinger received a one-day suspension for being “rude and unprofessional” to a woman reporting a fatal accident. That call happened back in January, but records show it came to light more recently and resulted in discipline in September.
Cleveland City Hall has said Hollinger last year handled the 911 call about 12-year-old Tamir Rice waving a gun at a park shortly before police shot and killed him. The caller suggested the gun may be fake. But somehow, when another dispatcher sent police, those officers were not told the gun may be fake. Police say the boy reached for his weapon, and it looked like a powerful handgun. However, they say he had an airsoft pistol.
The I-Team obtained a recording of the call about the accident, and you can hear the dispatcher get testy with the caller over the caller’s name and location.
City Hall has said if anyone faces internal punishment in the Tamir Rice case, that would happen only after any criminal matters play out.
Police Union President Steve Loomis said:
In this case, Dispatcher Hollinger's urgency stemmed from the seriousness of this call and the lack of useful information available from the caller. Dispatcher Hollinger made every effort to solicit location information reasonably. She is a very good dispatcher and employee.