DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said he did not know about the deletion of 22 terabytes of data at the Dallas Police Department earlier this year and learned about the news just this week from the district attorney.
“I was blindsided Wednesday by the report that 22 terabytes of evidence from various Dallas Police Department criminal cases were deleted earlier this year and that 8 terabytes of evidence are still missing,” Johnson said in a memo city officials on Thursday.
The report came from Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot as he disclosed an issue during a data migration of the police department’s network drive led to the massive loss back in April 2021. He said 22 terabytes were deleted between March 31, 2021, and April 5, 2021.
#NEW @Johnson4Dallas asks @ServeDallas & @caraathome to hold joint cmte hearing on missing terabytes of evidence from @DallasPD criminal cases. “I was blindsided..This is a very serious matter..The people of Dallas deserve answers.” City officials knew for months he said. @CBSDFW pic.twitter.com/YCuJbK1OfH
— Jack Fink (@cbs11jack) August 12, 2021
According to Creuzot, 14 terabytes were able to be recovered but that eight terabytes are still missing and may not be able to be recovered.
“That news was especially stunning because this problem apparently has been known to some City of Dallas officials for months — yet only came to our attention when the Dallas County District Attorney notified defense attorneys of this issue,” Johnson said in his memo.
Creuzot said the district attorney’s office is working with the police department to see how many cases could be impacted and that the data loss could affect cases before July 28, 2020.
“This is a very serious matter. Public safety is the bedrock of our city government. Missing evidence could have major consequences for pending criminal cases, which could leave victims without justice and undermine our efforts to build a safer city,” Johnson said.
According to the district attorney, the data loss should not affect cases that don’t have a detective, such as DWI, evading arrest and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.