But her death is a national story for several reasons. Two people separately called 911 as Rodriguez was dying and begged for paramedics to help her.
Both callers were spurned by emergency dispatchers -- because Rodriguez was already at a hospital. In the lobby of the emergency room. Bleeding out for 45 minutes as medical staff ignored her and a janitor mopped the blood Rodriguez was vomiting.
A report in the Los Angeles Times details the two 911 calls. The first came from Rodriguez's boyfriend, who was told paramedics wouldn't respond to a hospital.
The second call was made eight minutes later. A different dispatcher fielded the call from a woman, identified by the Times as "apparently another patient" at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital:
"Ma'am, I cannot do anything for you for the quality of the hospital there," the dispatcher said. "Do you understand what I'm saying? This line is for emergency purposes only ... 911 is used for emergency purposes only."
The woman replied, "This is an emergency, mister."
The dispatcher cut her off. "It is not an emergency. It is not an emergency, ma'am."
"It is," the woman said.
"It is not an emergency," the dispatcher replied.
"You're not here to see how they're treating her," the bystander said.
"OK, well, that's not a criminal thing. You understand what I'm saying?" the dispatcher said. ...
The 2 1/2 minute call ended on a hostile note.
"May God strike you too for acting the way you just acted," the frustrated caller told the dispatcher, just before 2 a.m. on May 9.
"Negative ma'am, you're the one," the dispatcher responded before disconnecting. ...
[Sheriff's Capt. Steven M.] Roller said the Sheriff's Department does not have a policy for responding to calls for medical aid from hospitals. He said the two 911 calls weren't linked by dispatchers because neither was deemed to merit a response, and therefore neither was logged in the computer as calls for service.