“911 is a joke.” — Public Enemy, 1990
Social media was replete with conspiracy theories after it was reported that it took police in Houston more than four hours to respond to a weekend shooting that left George Floyd‘s preschool-aged niece critically injured.
Four-year-old Arianna Delane suffered a punctured lung, punctured liver and three broken ribs from the 3 a.m. shooting for which no one has been identified as a suspect. Arianna was still hospitalized as of Tuesday evening following at least one surgery.
Luckily, Arianna, who was asleep when she was shot, was expected to make a full recovery. However, questions remain about the shooting, including who did it, why they did it and, perhaps just as important, why it took police more than four hours to respond to the shooting.
A statement attributed to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner was tweeted Tuesday evening acknowledging the “delayed response time” and accompanied by an official police press release about the shooting that made no mention of the “delayed response time.” Finner said the hours-long response was under investigation (by police and not an independent panel) and appealed for help from the public in identifying any suspects since his department apparently didn’t have any leads at all (something that could be attributed to that “delayed response time”…).
People on social media wondered both sincerely and sarcastically about a situation that involved a relative of someone who could be reviled in law enforcement circles: What could have caused such a delay in dispatching officers to an early morning shooting at a residence on New Year’s Day that involved a small, young child?
One response to the Houston Police Department’s tweet seemingly summed up the prevailing sentiment:
“It was either due to the 4 year old girls racial background, or the HPD refused to respond because she is related to George Floyd and HPD is upset that a police officer (keep the blue wall of silence intact) is mad that a police officer/murder was held responsible for the murder.”
There is no evidence to support any of those theories.
With that said, there has been at least one instance of police revealed to have mocked Floyd’s death, suggesting there could be lingering resentment about the murder that landed a former cop Derek Chauvin in prison for decades. That was nearly a year ago when Floyd’s family slammed the LAPD for making a crude joke ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Because Floyd’s last words were, “I cannot breathe,” LAPD staffers nearly nine months later began sharing an image in his likeness with the message, “You take my breath away.” The image was reportedly in a “valentine format” ahead of the annual holiday of love.
Arianna’s father told the local ABC affiliate that his daughter alerted him when she was shot in their second-story apartment at about 3 a.m. on Saturday.
“My daughter jumped up and said, ‘Daddy, I’ve been hit’ and I was shocked until I seen the blood and I realized my 4-year-old daughter was really hit,” Derrick Delane told ABC 13. “She didn’t know what was going on. She was asleep.”
He said he didn’t know if his home was targeted or if they were stray bullets.
“Why would my house get shot up?” Derrick Delane asked. “My daughter don’t know. I can’t explain that to her. As the father, you’re supposed to protect the kids.”