Americans For Prosperity staffers told The Daily Caller that Washington, D.C. 911 operators hung up on them four times when they asked for extra police to help them deal with the Occupy DC protesters who stormed their “Defending the American Dream Summit” Friday evening.
AFP foundation’s director of programs Katie Engdahl said she called 911 to ask for more help in order to protect event attendees from the growing group of protesters outside the Washington Convention Center. Engdahl was the AFP staffer in charge of running the event, which the Occupy protesters swarmed on Friday night, most likely because billionaire investor David Koch was in attendance. Left-wing media have vilified Koch and his brother, Charles, for their donations to libertarian and free market causes.
“I was about to call ‘show’ and realized that we had a lot of protesters during the middle of program,” Engdahl said in a Saturday afternoon interview. “We realized it had gotten to the point where, even though the convention center had been calling and working with [Metropolitan Police Department], we needed to call them and make sure we had a game plan for people to get out of the building safely and back to their rooms or to their home.”
Engdahl said she called 911 in the middle of the show and told them the protesters appeared organized with a plan of attack as they had all the convention center exits blocked.
“I did mention [on the 911 call] how coordinated I thought the protesters’ effort was, as well as how ill-prepared both MPD and the Convention Center were in communicating together on how best to solve the problem,” she explained.
“I said that I didn’t want it to rise to where we had a confrontation or other problems – and they hung up on me,” Engdahl said, adding that she and other AFP staffers and volunteers had made at least four 911 calls from inside the convention center asking for help.
AFP’s director of Human Resources, Heather de la Riva, told TheDC she also called 911 to voice her concerns about the growing protest and was hung up on as well by the 911 operator. (RELATED: Occupy DC protest turns violent outside Washington Convention Center [VIDEO])
“Last evening when we were in our dinner session, we actually noticed that there were protesters outside, and lined up on each corner,” de la Riva said. “We were getting ready to dismiss activists and let out for the evening. So, I did place a call to 911 just giving them a heads-up that we were going to be leaving the convention area and that there were protesters outside. I did understand that there was already a police presence, but I was hoping that they would be able to calm the situation so that we didn’t run into any altercations. And, they  hung up.”
AFP volunteer Melissa Ortiz, who is wheelchair-bound, said she also called 911 to ask for help leaving the convention center. “I personally called 911,” Ortiz told TheDC. “They said, ‘are the police there?’ I said, ‘yes they are.’ Then, click.” They hung up on her too, she said.