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Maya Angelou

Dispatcher Suspended

Over Oprah Trash Talk During 911 Call

5/30/2014 3:12 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news


An emergency dispatcher who can be overheard in the Maya Angelou 911 call was suspended for criticizing Oprah Winfrey in the middle of the emergency.

John Ruckh -- a dispatcher in Winston-Salem North Carolina for 24 years -- is heard in the background ... making critical comments to someone about Oprah.

Ruckh -- who did not take the actual call -- is heard telling someone that Oprah has fallen out of grace because of an interview she did, where he claims she stated, "There are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die."

Ruckh insists he used no racial slurs during the conversation, saying, "Unfortunately I work in a high-profile job and everything's recorded."

The audio is really hard to hear, but take a listen.


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As a 911 operator you're distracting another operator from talking them through a life or death situation with irrelevant conversation defending old racists while a life is in danger. Not to mention a civil rights/womens rights activist. Moron. R.I.P. Mya

111 days ago

Black Adam    

Enough with the allegations of Racism. All of this time wasted whining about what he or she said when they were in their own house. Or what someone said in a private conversation that was picked up by a microphone able to hear when a Bumble Bee Farts. This is getting old real quick.

111 days ago
18. Booboo.....stick ya head in doodoo    

Google only employ 2% blacks....racism is alive and well. Am glad oprah is black

111 days ago

Jennifer Weber    

subtitles would be nice

111 days ago


Good, heartless ppl should get heartless treatment
Forgiving and stuff is not working

111 days ago

Britt Tynes    

Now you cant have freedom of speech or an opinion in America -- We are not even a free county anymore and we do not even know it-- I wish I had the money to leave this country-- Anyone want to give me the money to get the hell out of dodge if so email me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

111 days ago


A 911 dispatcher is overheard in the background of the 911 call about Maya Angelou and gets suspended for criticizing Oprah Winfrey??? Nothing he said was even bad. And, heck, I kinda agree to a point about the oldest generation dying off will help with some of the problems of racism, but I know a lot of other younger folks who are racist...but overall not seemingly anywhere near as racist as the oldest generations as a whole.

111 days ago


The typical American is mentally saturated with hatred and criticism. Try a little love....both you and Oprah too.

111 days ago


Back in 1999, David Howard, an aide to Washington DC Mayor Anthony Williams, was instantly fired for being racist because he used the word *****rdly. He was rehired once morons creating the uproar actually cracked open a dictionary and found out what it meant. This story ranks right up there and once the tool who did the firing is raked through the coals of public opinion, the dispatcher will be back to work.

111 days ago

david 183    

Can't understand that crap. Even if he did say it is he not entitled to his own opinion!! I can see them reprimand him in some way because everything is being recorded and he should be careful . But to fire him is ridiculous. Damn you can't even speak your mind anymore. This political correctness is too much..

111 days ago


Well lookie here,TMZ is just as idiotic...blocking my use of the word niqgardly. Get a dictionary.

111 days ago


Fo Shizzle, Ma Nizzle.

111 days ago


How did they get to talking about Oprah? When they heard it was Maya Angelou did the guy know she was friends with Oprah? That's a stretch because not many people would know to make that connection let alone be able to quote what Oprah said about Donald Sterling...very odd.

111 days ago


why isnt oprah fired?? i mean she said it and he repeated it..if it is that bad then she should take some heat as well

111 days ago


Why the hell is he not doing his job is the real question?

111 days ago
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