DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Dallas launched an internal investigation almost immediately after the death of Deanna Cook, who was found dead in her home two days after she called 911 for help.
CBS 11 News obtained confidential records that detail who did what after Cook made that call.
The investigation starts with the call itself. For nine minutes, you can hear the sounds of a struggle and a woman screaming inside her Dallas home.
“Help. Please. Stop it, Red,” cried Deanna Cook. Internal Affairs records show that 911 operator Tonyita Hopkins answered her call that day. After several minutes, once she determined Cook’s address, Hopkins sent an updated report to dispatchers, adding the word “urgent.”
“For a brief moment, I did wonder why the call hadn’t been dispatched, but I just thought they were busy,” she later wrote.
Meanwhile, Senior Corporals Amy Wilburn and Julia Menchaca said that they there seven miles away when they volunteered for the call. They pulled into a 7-Eleven. Wilburn wrote, “I ran inside and grabbed two waters.” Her partner communicated with a dispatcher. The officers arrived at the home more than half an hour after the initial call. They say they knocked, but heard nothing. They say the blinds were drawn, the garage locked and the backyard occupied by a barking dog.
When they checked into a call history, they saw that, less than a month earlier, the resident had told a 911 operator that she would not open the door for police. “We assumed (she) had either left the location or was not answering the door for us,” wrote Wilburn, who then left the scene.
Chief David Brown later found the 911 operator to blame for failing to enter critical information in her report. That’s despite several supervisors’ recommendations that she receive no discipline. One even told her she “did a good job.”
In her final letter, Hopkins protested her 10-day suspension, still insisting that she did her job “to the best of my abilities.”
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