On Aug. 10, 2016, Tony Timpa called 911 from the parking lot of an adult video store, claiming he was scared and needed help. The 32-year-old reportedly told the dispatcher he was off his schizophrenia medication and admitted to taking illegal drugs. Dallas police arrived on the scene shortly after, and restrained Timpa using controversial methods: They placed him in handcuffs, zip-tied his legs, and pinned him face-down on the ground. The unarmed man died moments later.
Body camera footage recently obtained by The Dallas Morning News shows the events leading up to Timpa's death. The video was released Monday by order of a federal judge who decided "the public has a compelling interest in understanding what truly took place during a fatal exchange between a citizen and law enforcement."
In the footage, Timpa can be heard crying for help as officers surround him. "You're going to kill me! You're going to kill me!" he screamed while handcuffed on the ground before he becomes unresponsive.
Though he was apparently unconscious at the time, a paramedic administered a sedative. Officers are then heard saying that Timpa was simply "out cold."
"It's time for school. Wake up!" a cop mockingly said. "I don’t want to go to school! Five more minutes, Mom!"
The officers continued to joke about the situation as Timpa remains motionless on the grass. Four minutes after the man stopped responding, paramedics performed CPR.
"He didn’t just die down there did he?" an officer said after Timpa was placed onto a gurney. "I hope I didn't kill him."
A Dallas County medical examiner ruled Timpa's death a homicide, and said it was caused by "the toxic effects of cocaine and the stress associated with physical restraint."
In 2017, the three officers involved in the incident—Kevin Mansell, Danny Vasquez, and Dustin Dillard—were indicted on charges of misdemeanor deadly conduct; however, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot dismissed the charges earlier this year, after he allegedly met with three examiners about their findings. Creuzot claimed all three examiners said they do not believe the officers acted recklessly, and "they cannot, and will not, testify to the elements of the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt."
All three officers returned to active duty back in April.
Timpa's family is suing the Dallas Police Department, claiming officers used excessive force. The suit also states that the newly released footage contradicts officers' claims that Timpa was combative and aggressive toward police.