Dallas Police Detective Quits After Accusations of Case Mishandling

500 instances of re-victimization attributed to improperly stored case files

Friday, Feb 10, 2012  |  Updated 3:29 PM CDT
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Dallas police say Detective Mickey East improperly stored thousands of family violence case files at home and never contacted hundreds of victims.

Ellen Goldberg, NBC 5 News

Dallas police say Detective Mickey East improperly stored thousands of family violence case files at home and never contacted hundreds of victims.

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A longtime Dallas police family violence detective resigned Thursday after an internal investigation revealed the detective mishandled hundreds of cases.

The Dallas Police Department said Thursday that Detective Mickey East improperly stored thousands of case files at home in his garage.

Police said East told them he stored the cases at home so he could work from home. But his supervisors say he never even contacted hundreds of victims.

A review found 508 instances of "re-victimization," in which someone who reported family violence was hurt again by the same suspect.

The police department said many of the cases of re-victimization can no longer be prosecuted because they fall outside a statute of limitations. Investigators found four cases they could file on.

Deputy Chief Sherryl Scott said she is disappointed in the job East did.

"I don't like it all," Scott said. "I don't like it, because when the public sees this, they lose faith in the department, and it's something we can't afford."

East, an almost 40-year veteran of the department, is a former family violence investigator who worked more than 2,000 cases over five years.

Jan Langbein, executive director of Genesis Women's Shelter in Dallas, said it is very difficult for victims of domestic violence to reach out for help.

"I think when someone does step up and has that courage, it's incumbent on all of us to follow through with that," she said.

After an initial review in 2009, East was removed from the family violence unit. He faces a disciplinary hearing. He could not be reached for comment.

The police department has since added seven detectives to the Family Violence Unit. It also has new software to monitor the number of cases being filed.

"Don't lose faith in us," Scott said. "This is not all of the detectives. We have very caring people that work in the unit."

NBC 5's Ellen Goldberg contributed to this report.

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