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Woman live streams after waiting over an hour for police: ‘This hurts my heart’

Posted at 6:38 PM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 18:40:21-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Miscommunication between the Petersburg Police Department and one concerned resident led to an emotional Facebook Live posted on Tuesday morning.

Linda Booker was dropping her grandchildren off at the bus stop when she saw a man stumbling down the sidewalk.

"When he couldn't tell me where he lived, I knew, I definitely knew something was wrong," Booker said.

She called the Petersburg Police Department non-emergency phone number four times for help with the situation, but no one showed up. Concerned with the lack of response, Booker began streaming the events live on Facebook.

"This hurts my heart," she said in her post. "To see this man out here and we need help and nobody's coming out to help this man."

Linda Booker

After her fourth phone call, Booker was informed a police officer had already been out to check on the man.

Having not seen an officer stop by while she was there, Booker made a final attempt to reach police by calling 911 and requesting an ambulance. Still, no one came.

Booker continued to wait over an hour after her first call for officers to arrive. Police say the miscommunication came about as the non-emergency calls are answered downstairs, while the 911 calls are answered upstairs.

"In this situation, I think there are some communication issues," Deputy Police Chief Brian Braswell said.

"When the call came out, this Officer stepped up and actually said over the radio that the gentleman had just been talked to and did not have any needs or require any services at this tim," said Braswell after checking the call log.

Braswell says the Police department appreciates what Linda Booker did to try to help the man and said she made the right decision to use the non-emergency phone number.