Janis Fullilove's 911 Call from Domestic Incident

Janis Fullilove's 911 Call from Domestic Incident

Memphis police have released last year's 911 call made by Councilwoman Janis Fullilove. After police arrived at the house last August, both Fullilove and her husband were arrested on domestic violence charges.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis police have released last year's 911 call made by Councilwoman Janis Fullilove. After police arrived at the house last August, both Fullilove and her husband were arrested on domestic violence charges.

After 8 months of court appearances, taking up a lot of police, judges', prosecutors' and court employees' time, this week a judge found Fullilove not guilty; the charges against her husband were dropped.

But when listening to the tape, you may wonder why so much time and energy was even spent on this case.

After being cleared of the charges, Janis Fullilove stated, "I feel like taxpayers' dollars have been wasted."

But the question is, who wasted taxpayer money, especially when you listen to the 911 call.

Operator: What is going on?
Fullilove: My husband will not give me my keys.

On the tape Fullilove remains calm, and doesn't sound upset. She only wanted her keys. It's much different than her 2010 call to 911 for help.

Fullilove: My husband just hit me.
Operator: Your husband hit you? What's your name ma'am?
Fullilove: Janis Fullilove, Councilwoman Fullilove.
Husband: Yeah, all that.
Fullilove: Please send somebody!
Operator: You need an ambulance, Ms. Fullilove?
Fullilove: No, I don't need an ambulance. No, I just need him out of my house.

During that call, the councilwoman clearly sounded upset.

Attorney Claiborne Ferguson says when it comes to domestic violence cases, 911 calls matter because they can determine a caller's state of mind.

"On the 911 call if you heard someone in the background raging, throwing things, threatening violence, then there's pretty good proof there might be a case of domestic violence," he explained, "But if it's a very calm 911 call it's going to be difficult to use that as evidence against the defendant."

Ferguson wasn't surprised with the outcome, saying domestic violence cases can be difficult.

"Both have the right to remain silent so if you arrest both the husband and wife or domestic partners you pretty much lose your witnesses to the case."

According to police in this case, Fullilove had been drinking and threw a plate at her husband. He pushed her down and held her in place until police arrived, then she passed out on the sidewalk.

But, it wasn't any of that that initially brought police to the house. As Fullilove calmly stated, she just wanted her keys.

Fullilove did not respond to our request for an interview about the 911 call; District Attorney Amy Weirich was not available.

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