Family Speaks After Dallas 911 Caller Slain

Family claims 911 operators didn't convey a sense of urgency

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    The family of Deanna Cook is filing a federal lawsuit against the city of Dallas.

    In the lawsuit they allege that 911 operators did not convey a sense of urgency when they took Cook's call on Aug. 17. Therefore, they allege, officers did not respond as quickly as they could have.

    Cook Family Sues City of Dallas

    [DFW] Cook Family Sues City of Dallas
    The family of 32-year-old Deanna Cook, who was murdered by her ex-husband, is suing the City of Dallas for mishandling her 911 call. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012)

    The lawsuit said despite her urgent screams for help, it took operators 10 minutes to dispatch officers to a call.

    Attorney Aubrey “Nick” Pittman said the officers stopped at a burglary alarm and 7-Eleven before actually making it to Cook’s south Dallas home.

    911 Dispatchers Disciplined After Woman's Slaying

    [DFW] 911 Dispatchers Disciplined After Woman's Slaying
    Deanna Cook s family found her body in her home two days after she called 911 and said her former husband was attacking her. Dallas police suspended one 911 call-taker and fired another after investigating the handling of two calls. (Published Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012)

    "I was shocked that police responding to any call, any urgent call, domestic violence or not, would stop at 7-Eleven before responding to the call," said Pittman at a news conference on Wednesday.

    The lawsuit said once officers did arrive, they did not put much effort into entering the home. It said they called Cook’s cell phone, got a voicemail and then left. It said officers knew that there had been calls previously made from the home.

    Her family found her body in a bathtub, two days later.

    Her ex-husband, Delvecchio Patrick was charged with her murder.

    "We were angry, upset, we wanted answers, we were confused, several emotions, it was unexplainable," said sister Karletha Cook.

    On Wednesday, Mayor Mike Rawlings would not discuss the lawsuit but said changes are on the way to the 911 center.

    "I don’t think it needs an overhaul, but I think there are things that need to be done quickly to make it the standards we need it," said Rawlings.