No, Jane Castor didn’t order police not to respond to protests unless someone was hurt

The city says a 911 call making the rounds on social media originated in Fredericksburg, Virginia, not Tampa.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is the subject of a false social media meme blaming her for a 911 call that originated in Virginia.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is the subject of a false social media meme blaming her for a 911 call that originated in Virginia. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published June 26, 2020|Updated June 27, 2020

TAMPA — A crying woman with a young daughter in her car calls 911 saying protesters are preventing her from moving and are climbing on her car.

A 911 operator saying City Hall has told police officers that there is nothing they can do.

The three-minute audio recording of an emergency call has been making its way around the internet and was recently picked up by FOX News.

And plenty of people apparently think the call happened in Tampa.

It didn’t.

The 911 call was made in Fredericksburg, Virginia, but that hasn’t stopped many on social media from blaming Mayor Jane Castor for condoning mayhem in her city’s streets.

Castor spokeswoman Ashley Bauman said the mayor and city social media accounts have been deluged with those castigating the city for ordering police to stand down while prostesters block traffic and climb on vehicles. Castor hasn’t done that.

The audio recording was played on FOX’s Tucker Carlson’s June 25 show where the host correctly identified the Virgina city where it took place.

But, for plenty of Facebook users, the correct origin of the call has been lost as it ricocheted online. Here’s one recent post from a retired Brandon pastor that was shared at least 430 times, provided by Bauman.


Please listen to this entire recording ... you will be shocked! I would like to know WHY Mayor Castor told the police that the rioters were allowed to stop vehicles, harass people with small children sitting in cars, and 911 was told that they COULD NOT RESPOND to the call unless someone was already injured!!! WHY are we allowing this insanity???”

Bauman said inaccurate posts like the one above are been shared hundreds of times.

• • •

Coverage of local and national protests from the Tampa Bay Times

HOW TO SUPPORT: Whether you’re protesting or staying inside, here are ways to educate yourself and support black-owned businesses.

WHAT PROTESTERS WANT: Protesters explain what changes would make them feel like the movement is successful.

WHAT ARE NON-LETHAL AND LESS-LETHAL WEAPONS? A guide to what’s used in local and national protests.

WHAT ARE ARRESTED PROTESTERS CHARGED WITH? About half the charges filed have included unlawful assembly.

CAN YOU BE FIRED FOR PROTESTING? In Florida, you can. Learn more.

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