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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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Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7


haha everything he said was so true, and I didnt even hear every word.

143 days ago


The thought police in full effect. Thou shalt not make politically incorrect statements while being a low level government employee.

142 days ago


I am Black and even I think this is stupid. He should not have been suspended call him back to work and pay him for the time off.

142 days ago


that wasn't racist or unprofessional, jeeze what has happened to free speech and opinions in this country, bunch goons calling the shots these days

142 days ago

Rita Davis     

The man was at WORK!!!!!!!! Come on. You can say whatever you want about whoever you want but not at WORK!!!!!!

142 days ago


GTFOH!!! Really!!! Only in America!!!

142 days ago


Grow up...seriously, Give him back his job...

142 days ago


He needs to be fired.....Stupid A$$

142 days ago


I think they fired him because he had this conversation in poor taste. Who in their right mind would have a conversation about Oprah while the dispatcher is taking a 911 call pertaining to someone Oprah is close to?! That's the point; it has nothing to do with black or white. This is a case of someone being unprofessional.

141 days ago


So much for freedom of speech. He just has to repeat a comment of Oprahs and he gets suspended?! He didn'tt say anything offensive and wasn't even the one taking the call. It's beyond ridiculous! On another note, very sad about the loss of Maya Angelou, she was a world treasure.

141 days ago

Roanld Thurow    

I thought when you were a 911 Operator. Your job was to stay on the line with the person that called until Emergency Personal arrive to the location and not have a coffee clutch while on the phone when someone is doing Chest Compressions On the Other End.

141 days ago


You are not allowed to speak the truth in the age of Obama.

140 days ago


he didnt say anything wrong. if a black guy had said something like that about bill orielly and his fans this wouldnt have even gotten out. double-standard

140 days ago


It is apparent, by some of the comments here, that they know nothing about the 911 process. It is not uncommon, during 911 calls, to have others talking in the background. Many times you won't hear that, because the dispatcher will have headphones on. I find nothing, that the person in the background said, were grounds for suspension. He was just repeating something he heard Oprah say. Is it so hard to believe, that when they learned that the 911 call was for MA, that the topic of OW would come up?

Personally, I have more problems with MA nurse, than I do the dispatcher or those in the background talking. The nurse is the one who should lose her job, for disregarding MA wishes.

MA made her last wishes known prior to her death & those wishes were ignored, when her nurse followed the instructions of the 911 dispatcher & initiated CPR, after MA was already deceased. As a nurse, myself, I am shocked that her nurse did not follow MA last wishes. Why would a person go to the trouble of making a Living Will or Advanced Directives, if the nurse or any type of medical staff doesn't follow them? As organized as MA was with her life, I will bet, she had either a LW or AD in place.

This should have never been a 911 call in the first place. What Maya Angelou's nurse should have done, was call the non-emergency number & tell them that she had a deceased patient of hers on the premises & have police & medical examiner arrive. There was no need for lights & sirens in this case.

So, my advice for anyone who wishes to make their last wishes known, is this. First of all, don't hire Maya Angelou's nurse, because she won't follow your last wishes.

Make sure you have your last wishes do***ented in either a Living Will or Advanced Directives. (Make sure that if you do have in home health, that they know what to do when the end comes & don't call 911).

Give copies of your LW or AD to your personal physician, local hospital & also a copy to your local EMS for their system. You should also ensure that you have this info in either your wallet or have a bracelet or necklace made that shows that you are a DNR.

Remember, just because you have this do***entation in place before your death, it doesn't mean that you can't change your mind. You can change your mind at any time, because these are YOUR wishes. It also doesn't mean that you won't receive treatment, if you are ever seriously injured. All it means is that if you die, that medical or emergency staff will not resuscitate you.

But, in this case, MA nurse violated the wishes of her patient & she is the one who should be reprimanded.

140 days ago


Who was listening so closely to the 911 call that they were able to figure out what this guy was saying??

139 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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