Here’s why CMPD says they charged ‘Southpark Susan’ with misuse of 911

Updated: Nov. 2, 2018 at 6:30 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When the woman now known on social media as ‘Southpark Susan’ called Charlotte Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) 911 to report that she wanted two African American women removed from the parking lot of an apartment complex in Southpark because they were allegedly intimidating her, begging for money, and taking her pictures, Susan Westwood became the latest person that CMPD charged with misuse of 911.

“Someone who calls 911 to concoct some story of something because they want to use the police department as leverage in a situation that they think that will better the outcome of something for them that’s certainly not going to be tolerated,” said Lt Brad Koch.

According to CMPD, for the fiscal year July 2017 to June 2018, operators answered more than 954,000 calls to 911.

Police say so far this year, 45 people have either been arrested or given a citation for misuse of 911.

“Anytime you have someone who either continually calls 911 and is not in real need of emergency or someone who fabricates a story to get police to respond to their location those are certainly incidences where we would charge someone with misuse of 911,” said Lt Koch.

While questioning two African American women about why they were in the parking lot, Westwood – on cell phone video taken by one of the African American women - can be heard saying "Is your boyfriend here? Is your baby daddy here? nobody cares. I’m white and I'm hot."

Then, she called 911.

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During the six-minute call, Westwood insisted that officers come and remove the women. At one point she offered to pay police.

Police say when officers responded, they determined that the women were not a threat or breaking the law. In fact, Lt Koch says when three commanders reviewed Westwood's 911 call, something was clear.

“And it was obvious from this case based on what Ms Westwood was saying to the 911 operator the story she was telling was not true at all. That’s why the determination was made to go ahead and charge her with this misdemeanor,” said Lt Koch. “She was using the police to try to further her agenda. Our job is not to take sides. Our job is to be there - and in this particular instance it was a disturbance call for service – was to be there as peacemakers and you know we want.. our goal is not to arrest people whenever or to sign warrants on individuals who misuse 911 but that certainly is an avenue that officers can explore.”

In addition to the arrest warrant for misuse of 911, there are four summonses for Westwood for communicating threats and assault.

A spokesperson for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office says deputies have tried eight times since Oct. 30 to serve Westwood but have been unable to find her.

Police say they hope people understand that 911 is not a personal toy or tool.

“We get a lot of 911 hang up calls. We get a lot of people who accidentally call 911 but the real emphasis and the real goal behind 911 is to be able to provide services for people who are in need,” said Lt Koch. “And there’s always a limited number of officers available at any given time and we want to make sure that people who really need 911, that really need the assistance are the ones that we are able to provide that service to.”

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