Update 3/6/14 with comment from the Dallas Police Department.
DALLAS –– An attorney representing the Dallas police 911 operator on leave amid an internal investigation that she staged a burglary at her apartment says the district attorney rejected filing the case based on evidence he possesses.
Shatawn Renee Allen was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into whether she kicked down her own door on Decand lied to police that someone stole a $4,500 Louis Vuitton purse and a $200 Nintendo Wii videogame system. A neighbor later called police to report he suspected she staged the burglary.
Days later, Allen asked police to drop the investigation and said she only paid $200 for the purse, according to an arrest warrant.
She was charged with filing a false alarm or report, a Class A misdemeanor.
Her attorney, Dallas-based Reed Prospere, said he presented the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office with affidavits of testimony from individuals Allen spoke to on the phone after discovering the kicked-in door and a polygraph test that she passed. He said the district attorney rejected filing the case.
When Prospere tried to pass off the evidence to internal affairs investigators about two weeks ago, he said they declined to see it. Dallas police spokeswoman Sherri Jeffrey said the internal investigation is in the final review process but declined to discuss specifics, considering it is ongoing. She said Allen is on leave and the department is aware of the district attorney's decision not to file.
“They filed a criminal case against this woman and the DA’s office rejected the filing, “ Prospere said. “This woman went and took and passed a polygraph on the issue and you need to also understand this woman does not have renter’s insurance so she had no financial incentive to stage a burglary or a fake burglary.”
The attorney said Allen, 32, was on the phone with a police officer on Dec. 23 when she arrived at her apartment in the 3200 block of Simpson Stuart Road and found her door kicked in. Allen works a second job at a hair salon and was speaking to a client who is an officer at a nearby college, Prospere said. He was unsure of which college.
“She pulls up, sees that her door’s open and tells the officer, hey someone kicked in her door. The call record shows the time markers are correct,” Prospere said. “She subsequently calls her significant other, who happens to be another police officer, and reports it at the same time. There’s more than ample corroborating information that she didn’t have anything to do with this burglary.
He said both individuals provided testimony for sworn affidavits backing up Allen’s story. In the arrest warrant, investigators spoke to a pair of witnesses who said they heard a loud banging and saw Allen outside her door without anyone else around. One of those witnesses called police to say he suspected his neighbor kicked her own door in.
“The one witness the police has has a record longer than your leg and when I presented all this to the D.A.’s office they said I don’t like our end of the stick,” Prospere said
He said he called internal affairs about two weeks ago and offered Allen for a statement along with the affidavits and the results from the polygraph test. He said his client paid $1,000 for the test out of her own pocket. Prospere said the investigator declined his evidence.
“I don’t know why they’re picking on this woman,” he said. “She has no sense of arrogance, she has no sense of entitlement and coming up with $1,000 to do a polygraph is something she did with no hesitation.”
"The Internal Affairs Division is aware that the District Attorney’s Office rejected the filing of the case against Shatawn Allen. That information has become part of the internal administrative investigation being conducted by the Internal Affairs Division. Once begun, an internal investigation continues until complete and a finding of the allegation is reached based on all available information. This particular case is in the final review process. Once complete, the employee will be notified of the final classification of the allegation. The most common finding of internal investigations and a general description of their meaning is provided below.
Unfounded – allegation did not occur
Not Sustained – the allegation could not be proven or disproven
Sustained – the allegation is proven to have taken place"