September 19th, 2012
08:25 PM ET

Family of slain Dallas woman sues over 911 call: 'This can never happen again,' says sister

The family of a Dallas woman who was found dead in her home two days after she contacted 911 during a domestic violence attack filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Dallas on Wednesday.

Deana Cook placed a call with 911 on Aug. 17 to report that her ex-husband was allegedly attacking her. The authorities have admitted the call was not logged correctly as urgent, which lead to the responding officers not being aware that it was an emergency.

The Dallas police eventually arrived on the scene 50 minutes after the call was placed. In the meanwhile, they made prior stops at another residence to check an alarm and at a 7-11 store to purchase personal items. When the police arrived at Cook’s home there was no response, so they left, said police.

Vickie Cook found her daughter dead in the bathtub on Aug 19., after she and her other daughters and granddaughters forced their way into the residence.

Cook’s ex-husband, Delvecchio Patrick, has been charged with murder.

When family members called police on Aug.19 to search for Cook, a caller suggested they contact hospitals and local jails first. This caller has been fired and the caller who received Cook’s original call on Aug 17. was suspended for 10 days.

The civil rights lawsuit alleges authorities were late to respond to the call and depended on officers who did not investigate the case properly. It further claims the city violated Cook’s due process and equal protection rights by not enforcing necessary policies.

According to Cook’s family, the police are not allowing them to hear the 911 call and have also declined to release a transcript.

Family members believe Cook’s case was mishandled possibly because of race and location.

“I think we're hoping to shine a light on the Dallas Police department." Karletha Cook-Gundy, sister of Deana Cook told Erin Burnett,  "we do understand that they've changed some policies, but we would like a culture change as well."

“We would like for this to never happen again,” she added.

The lawsuit demands for unspecified damages. No court date has been set.

OutFront tonight: Karletha Cook-Gundy and family attorney Nick Pittman.

Filed under: Crime
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