A Florida woman and her son were fatally shot March 27, after police told her to stop calling 911, accusing her of "making false accusations."
According to the Orlando Sentinel, police were called twice in the span of 20 minutes to intervene in heated arguments between Latina Verneta Herring, 35, and her boyfriend, Allen Dion Cashe, 31.
At 3:20 a.m., Herring called 911 after she began arguing with Cashe at a Wawa gas station in Sanford, Florida. Police arrived on scene but no arrests were made. Twenty minutes later, a second call to 911 was made, but it is unclear if the call was made by Herring or Cashe.
Police responded to the second call and arrived at Herring's home. However, according to body cam footage, police appear to be unconvinced that Herring was actually in danger.
"She's making false accusations," one of the officers can be heard saying, according to WBRC. "It’s the second time she’s done it."
At one point, an officer directly told Herring to stop calling 911.
"We’re going to handle it," the officer told her. "Just stop calling 911 and making accusations that you don’t know about."
Police called the incident a "civil matter" and said that there was no reason to make an arrest. On the video, Herring appears frustrated and said that she should have lied and said that Cashe hit her.
Later, the officers discuss the possibility that it was actually Cashe who made the second call to 911.
"I think he’s calling because he’s afraid he’s going to do something to her," one officer says.
At 6 a.m., the Orlando Sentinel reports that Cashe kicked down the front door to Herring's home and fired an AK-47, killing Herring and her 8-year-old son. Herring's father and her 7-year-old son were injured. Cashe then left the home and shot two bystanders.
Cashe is being held without bail on premeditated homicide and first-degree murder.
Latasha Beasley, a friend of Herring, tells WBRC that the police's response showed a lack of empathy and that the officers protected the wrong person that night.
"To protect and serve who, man?" Beasley said. "Who? Justice needs to be served."
In a statement, Mayor Jeff Triplett said he was deeply saddened by "the senseless shooting in Sanford."
"Domestic violence is a reality in society that doesn't distinguish itself among race, creed, location, color or class," he continued.