To Kill a Mockingbird

Why does Jem call out to Atticus that the phone was ringing? What is Lee's purpose in adding this to the story?

chapt. 15

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"Jem can't stand to see the men surround Atticus in the yard. Jem feels the threat of violence in the air so he shouts the phone is ringing to throw the men off. Jem hopes to divert the intensity long enough for his father to come back in."