Three Dallas Police Officers Who Mocked A Detained Schizophrenic Man As He Dies Will Not Go To Jail
USA, Dallas, 2019 - Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot dismissed the charges against three Dallas police officers who were indicted by a grand jury in 2017 on misdemeanor that led to the death of a Dallas citizen Tony Timpa. The charges were off after all three medical examiners who testified before the grand jury had indicated the officers did not act “recklessly.”
This week, The Dallas Morning News newspaper only three years after could finally obtain the body-camera footage from that Timpa's detainment's night. The federal judge ruled in favor of the newspaper’s request Monday evening, stating “the public has a compelling interest in understanding what truly took place during a fatal exchange between a citizen and law enforcement.”
This video now is a part of a lawsuit filed by Timpa's family for the excessive force.
Almost three years ago, on August 10, 2016, a Dallas citizen Tony Timpa called the police from an adult video store parking lot for help, saying he was off of his prescription schizophrenia medication and high on cocaine. The first who responded to the call were three Dallas police officers - Kevin Mansell, Danny Vasquez, and Dustin Dillard. When they arrived, Timpa was already handcuffed by security guards for attempting to run into traffic.
According to police reports, Timpa’s “aggressive and combative” behavior forced officers to keep him restrained. The video shows Timpa pleading for help and clearly struggling as he’s held down by police.
It is seen on the video, one of the officers keeps Timpa pinned face-down on the ground with his knee on Timpa's back in so called "prone position, a restraining technique that is highly controversial. Police claimed that the officers had to restrain Timpa in order not to let him run into the busy intersection, because the minute before that he was wiggling around near the curb trying to sit up. But it is seen on the video that the police car was parked blocking the traffic near the bus stop bench where Timpa was lying on the ground.
“You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me!” he continuously yelled.
Still restrained by his hands and feet, the 32-year-old Tony Timpa becomes unresponsive after 13 minutes of pleading. Before he fell unconscious Timpa begged Dallas police officers for help more than two dozen times. At this point, officers in the video can be heard laughing and mocking Timpa, one even noting that he is “out cold.” His nose is buried in the grass when officers claim to hear him snoring—apparently unaware that the unarmed man is drawing his last breaths.
“Tony, are you still with us?” one officer asks, before another questions whether Timpa is still breathing.
When Timpa snorts, the first responders begin joking that he fell asleep.
“It’s time for school. Wake up!” another cop says, earning laughs from the group.
Mimicking a whiny teenager, another officer responds: “I don’t want to go to school! Five more minutes, Mom!”
When Timpa was being loaded onto a gurney and put into an ambulance one of the officers asks:
“He didn’t just die down there did he? I hope we didn’t kill him.”
To which another officer laughs and says: "what's this 'we' bullshit?" and three police officers continue laughing and joking.
But their laugher rapidly stops when one of the paramedics confirms that Timpa is already dead. And video shows that until at least four minutes after Timpa loses conscience, paramedics don't begin CPR.
A spokesperson for the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that Timpa died from a sudden cardiac arrest due to “the toxic effects of cocaine and the stress associated with physical restraint” for over 13 minutes. According to the spokesperson, Timpa died within 20 minutes of police arriving and at least 15 minutes before he was transported to Parkland hospital.
Timpa’s death was ruled a homicide.
“You will see how long it is that it takes for them to realize he’s not doing anything,” Geoff Henley, Timpa’s family attorney, said Wednesday.
Two of the PD officers - Mansell and Vasquez - were placed on administrative leave in December 2017, while the third one, Dillard, was placed on leave a year later.