Wanted to let you know about a fast-growing petition on Change.org that over 361,000 people have signed on to in just a few weeks: it was launched by a Texas father who is fighting for justice for his daughter who was brutally stabbed to death in front of her three young children in a hotel room last month.
Hank Hunt’s daughter, Kari, was killed on December 1 at a Baymont Inn & Suites in Marshall, Texas, by her estranged husband. Kari’s 9-year-old daughter (Hank’s granddaughter) was in the hotel room with her mom and tried to dial 911 in order to reach emergency help. But because Kari’s daughter didn’t know the phone system at the Baymont Inn & Suites required callers to dial “9” first to reach an outside line, she wasn’t able to reach emergency personnel.
In honor of his daughter’s life, Hank is now petitioning for what he calls “Kari’s Law” — a law that would require businesses like hotels to make sure their phone systems have easy access to dialing 911. In the past week, more than 361,000 people have signed on to Hank’s Change.org petition.
Says Hank: “It’s hard not to think about how terrified and angry my granddaughter must have been, trying to call emergency personnel to save her mom, but being unable to get through to the help she needed.”
“We are attempting to ensure that any person needing police, EMS or the Fire Department at any hotel or motel location may be able to dial the numbers 911 and reach emergency response. In a panic, any under age child, or for that matter anyone in an emergency situation, should be able to depend on dialing 911 from any phone in the United States and receiving assistance.”
Hank’s petition caught the eye of Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who is directing his staff to research federal legislation that would make sure all phones have easy access to 911 emergency personnel. “We want to make sure a child never experiences the inability or horror of not getting emergency help, and to do it most effectively,” Rep. Gohmert told the News Journal.
Hank’s petition has already prompted one Texas hotel — the Staybridge Suites in North Longview — to reconsider their phone system. Hotel manager C.J. Clayton told KETK-NBC that after hearing Kari’s story, she wanted to make sure no family experienced a similar tragedy. The Baymont Inn & Suites where Kari was murdered, however, still has a phone system that requires a caller to ‘dial 9’ before reaching an outside line. Wyndham, which owns Baymont Inn & Suites, hasn’t commented on the petition.