Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The town of Murphy, Texas is in the spotlight, again for all the wrong reasons:

In October 2007, Matthew Cantrell wandered outside and strangled himself in the net after his mother fell asleep. He died at a hospital days later.

In their first television interview since the 21-month-old died, his parents criticized 911 dispatchers for taking more than two minutes to transfer Ave Cantrell's call to an emergency medical technician.

On a recording of the 911 call, Ms. Cantrell repeatedly asks the dispatcher for instructions on how to help her child but gets no response.

"I could do CPR or something," she says. "Please tell me what I need to do."

Murphy police defended their response and said dispatchers are not supposed to give medical advice.

Once police did arrive, Ms. Cantrell said they put her and her other son in a bedroom while Matthew lay on a couch not breathing.

"I should have kicked the police officer out of the way to see if he was doing CPR on him," Ms. Cantrell said. "I figured they were doing something, but then we found out they didn't do anything."

Officer Kevin McGee left the boy there to meet the paramedics and initially blocked them from entering the home, which he said was a "crime scene," according to documents obtained by WFAA-TV (Channel 8).

"I advised him we needed to assess the child," a paramedic said in a written statement. "He responded, 'He is gone.' I told him the paramedics were the ones that would determine if he was alive."

A segment that local ABC affiliate WFAA did on the story is even more damning. Not mentioned in the print story above is the fact that Officer McGee was one of the officers who two years ago took part in the ridiculous Dateline/Perverted Justice "sting" on a local assistant district attorney that ended in the man's suicide, and McGee also has a suit filed against him in federal court for using excessive force against a minor.  Apparently there is no already horrible situation that the Murphy PD can't make worse.

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