Below is a letter from the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office addressed to all licensed Texas attorneys and specifically defense attorneys who handled a criminal case filed by the Dallas Police Department in Dallas County between the years 2016-2021.
In March 2023, this office was notified by the Dallas Police Department (DPD) of a review that DPD’s Body Worn Camera Team conducted at the end of 2022 regarding uncategorized video files in their Axon video system. During this review, DPD discovered an issue regarding some older videos (between 2016 through 2021) that had been properly categorized but were deleted from the corresponding video system due to the assigned retention periods at the time.
Upon becoming aware of this issue, this office immediately began working with DPD to determine an efficient process to review potentially affected cases. Through triaging efforts, our office generated a list of 113 cases set for trial at that time that involved death of the complainant. DPD’s DME (Digital Media Evidence) Unit then conducted a review of these cases, commonly referred to as a “triple check,” for any missing video; and, while some cases were not affected, others were. Parties in any affected cases received an audit trail of deleted videos, which was uploaded to DallasCountyProsecutor (DCP, formerly known as TechShare Prosecutor) by DPD’s DME Unit.
Consistent with triage efforts, this office subsequently established a protocol to request a “triple check” search for videos of all cases set for trial; and in June 2023, this office began sending weekly bulk “triple check” requests to DPD’s DME Unit for cases with trial settings reflected in DCP. The parties in any affected cases will receive an audit trail of deleted videos via DCP upload. To date, this office has not reviewed a case in which any deleted video proved to be material to the case.
DPD is this office’s largest filing agency. As a result, this video file deletion issue potentially affects thousands of cases. Neither this office nor DPD has the personnel nor capacity to proactively review each case filed during the relevant time period. This letter, therefore, serves to notify all members of the defense bar in the State of Texas who handled a criminal case filed by DPD in Dallas County between the years 2016–2021 of the video files deletion issue.
Should you have any questions, please contact the Conviction Integrity Unit at 214-653-3600. If you wish to request a review of a specific disposed case for the video files deletion issue, please submit the request in writing to the following address:
Dallas County DA’s Office
Attn: Conviction Integrity Unit
133 N. Riverfront Blvd., LB19
Dallas, TX 75207
John C. Creuzot
Dallas County Criminal District Attorney