- Authorities in New Mexico credited an Amazon Echo device with calling 911 while a woman said she was getting beaten by her boyfriend earlier this month.
- But Amazon responded saying that their devices aren’t equipped to call 911, so it remains a mystery how the call was triggered.
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Law enforcement officials in New Mexico this week credited an Amazon Echo with calling 911 when a woman said she was getting beaten by her boyfriend.
- Bernalillo County Jail
But Amazon is contesting the story – issuing a statement that their devices aren’t equipped to call 911.
The incident itself happened on July 2, when police say Eduardo Barros, 28, got into a fight with his girlfriend while they were house-sitting for her parents in Tijeras, according to a criminal complaint viewed by The Albuquerque Journal.
The girlfriend said Barros accused her of cheating and threatened to kill her if she tried to call police.
Somehow though, a call to 911 was triggered, and when dispatchers answered the phone, they heard a woman yelling, “Alexa call 911!”
Deputies were dispatched to the scene, but by the time they got there, the woman and her daughter had escaped the house, according to the Journal.
Barros refused to come out of the house, but was arrested after a six-hour stand-off with police. He was later charged with aggravated battery on a household member and false imprisonment.
The victim said she didn’t call police, so police assumed the Amazon device did.
On Monday, Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales released a statement praising the device, saying it “helped save a mother and her child from a very violent situation,” according to the Journal.
But Amazon immediately responded to the statement, saying the Echo could not have called police.
“Alexa cannot call 911,” spokeswoman Rachel Hass told the Journal. “That feature is not supported and does not work.”
Hass explained that the Echo devices are only equipped to call another Amazon Echo device or a device with the Alexa app.
Romero responded saying they took the woman’s story at face value and didn’t investigate whether it was possible for an Echo to call 911.
They said they do not plan to investigate the call further, so what prompted it remains a mystery.
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