A terrified mother's 911 call about protesters in the streets of Fredericksburg, Virginia, has garnered the attention not only of a regional radio host but also Fox News' Tucker Carlson.
What are the details?
The incident took place June 13 during a protest authorized by the city, according to Fredericksburg Today. The caller to 911, Tara Durant, complained to the dispatcher about protesters blocking an intersection — and then things got intense after the dispatcher told her that "unless you're hurt or something or get in an accident, our officers can't intervene."
Durant told the dispatcher that the protesters were gesturing at her car and beginning to get "really threatening."
After the dispatcher told her that she "cannot hit people with your car," Durant updated the situation, saying, "They're are on my car, all right? They're on my car right now!"
The dispatcher's reply? "We can't do anything, ma'am. The city told us that this is a sanctioned event."
Durant soon was panicking: "Get out of my car!" she screamed at protesters. "You know, this is gonna get dangerous! I've got a kid here!"
'We suggest that you call up City Hall'
"Yes, ma'am," the dispatcher replied. "We would suggest that you call up City Hall to let them know about your frustrations."
"Get out of the way! ... This is getting scary!" Durant yelled, adding, "I cannot get out of here, OK? Get out of the way! ... They're on my car! They're on my car!"
Soon she was in tears: "They're on my car right now! ... I've got a little girl in the car crying! Are you kidding me?"
Finally Durant was able to get away, and that's when the call ended.
What was the reaction?
Durant spoke to Charlottesville radio host Rob Schilling last week about the incident. Below is their interview, which includes the entire 911 call. The segment begins just before the 19-minute mark:
Durant told Schilling that her "very scared" 12-year-old daughter was "traumatized" by the incident and was "afraid" the protesters were going to hurt her or her mother and "wants justice."
She added that her husband did contact City Hall and that she contacted Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw and the city council to little avail. But Durant said one officer who heard the 911 call told her, "We're as frustrated as you are."
"I would like to see our community return to a place where it's safe," she told Schilling. "I want my children to be able to go into downtown Fredericksburg again and walk around and get ice cream and not feel like it's not a safe situation." Durant added that it's an "absolute abomination to ever even designate them as peaceful protesters."
Tucker chimes in
Tucker Carlson featured Durant's 911 call on his Fox News program and also offered his reaction to it:
Tucker plays 911 call in Fredericksburg, VA
How did the city react?
The City of Fredericksburg offered the following statement to Fredericksburg Today:
The protest on June 13th was authorized by the City Government and monitored by the Police Department. Officers were staged one block from the demonstrations to divert traffic while protesters exercised their First Amendment rights. Unfortunately, protesters did not advise police where they would march, and some vehicles were not able to be diverted.
The 911 Communications Officer informed the caller that the protest was a City authorized event and officers were monitoring the activity from afar. When the caller stated a person jumped on her vehicle (exhibiting criminal behavior), the Communications Officer notified officers staged nearby of the situation.
When officers arrived at the demonstration, the caller had vacated the area. A Patrol Division Sergeant followed up with the caller by phone the following day and began his investigation. Public safety for everyone is the number one priority of the Police Department and the Sergeant exhausted all available resources to identify the suspect who jumped on her vehicle. His investigation continues.
According to local paper the Free Lance Star, a representative of various protesting groups said a 13-year-old boy who wasn't with the protesters did jump on Durant's car and that the group immediately pulled the boy away.
"We do not condone or participate in that type of behavior," the protesters wrote in a statement to the paper.
Durant responded to the Free Lance Star's story in her Facebook page saying the paper "did not make any attempt to interview me and my little girl to determine the facts of what happened."
More from her post:
The Fredericksburg Police have actively searched for video evidence. My daughter and I saw several cell phones presumably capturing what was transpiring. None have surfaced. I challenge these protestors to prove the false assertion I attempted to run protestors over. There is no doubt that video evidence would have been produced had there been a shred of truth to what they are saying now.
But therein lies the problem. These protestors cannot get a consistent story straight. Case in point: the conflicting articles published by the Free Lance Star and Potomac Local.
For weeks, various protestors have vehemently denied the incident occurred. Now, there has been acknowledgment, according to the Free Lance Star, that someone did in fact jump on my car; allegedly a minor 13 year old boy not affiliated with a protest group. This is news to both me and the Fredericksburg Police.
Conversely, The Potomac Local also published an article today on the incident. The Potomac Local interviewed protestors who deny anyone jumped onto my car.
The protestors who were interviewed for both articles have acknowledged they laid hands on my car, ostensibly to prevent me from striking the protestors on the road. This is a lie. As heard in my 911 call, I was unable to move due to my car being surrounded. I was only allowed to proceed onto Caroline Street after a motorcyclist that we have since identified in various other protest videos ordered the protestors off of my car. He then repeatedly swore at us to get the f*** out of there.