Dallas will pay $335k to fight murder victim's lawsuit

Dallas fighting victim's family lawsuit

DALLAS – It was Deanna Cook's death that changed how Dallas Police respond to domestic violence calls.

Audio of her murder on Aug. 17, 2012 was caught on a 911 tape. She screamed for her life for nearly 10 minutes.

The operator didn't send police right away. When police finally arrived, they never went into the home to see if Cook was OK. 

Her body was found two days later by her family. They had to kick in the door to her home to find her after a second 911 operator refused to send police because they had gone to the home a couple of days before.

"Something went wrong in the system. The process of saving a life," Cook’s sister, Karletha Gundy, said. 

That operator, Angela Graham, was fired for violating department policy at a hearing she denied that.

"I didn't refuse to send police. I did what I was trained to do," Graham said. 

The family sued the City of Dallas saying they failed Cook.

City leaders and Dallas Police Department jumped into action.

Chief David Brown overhauled the 911 call center adding more staff and changing how police respond to domestic violence calls.

Mayor Mike Rawlings took on domestic violence as his cause, but now the city is fighting the family.

On Wednesday, city council agreed to an additional $75,000 to fight Cook's lawsuit bringing the total amount to $355,000.  

"It's not about money to the city. It's about power because we are the small fish in this big pond, so they can do this to us without us having anything to say," Gundy said. 

The family says the money used to fight the lawsuit could have been given to them to right the wrongs of what went wrong with this case.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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