Body Cam Footage Released of Texas Man Who Died in Police Custody
For years, people have been wanting to see the footage of the final minutes of Tony Timpa's life. This is what happened.
Back on August 10, 2016, Tony Timpa called 911 saying he was afraid and needed help. He let the operator know he suffered from schizophrenia and depression and was off his prescription medication. His blood work also came back positive for cocaine. People have been wanting to know how a man that called for help, ended up dead in the back of an ambulance.
For the past several years, Timpa's family have been suing the Dallas police department over his death. They claimed excessive force was used during this arrest and that is what lead to his passing. Police incident reports recounting the officers’ version of events claim Timpa’s behavior that night was aggressive and combative. The video shows Timpa writhing at times and clearly struggling to breathe, asking the officers to stop pinning him down.
When police arrived, he was already handcuffed from a security guard at a nearby business. You can see what happened during the arrest above. Officers claim they pinned him down to prevent him from rolling into the road. An autopsy ruled Timpa’s cause of death was a homicide, sudden cardiac death due to "the toxic effects of cocaine and the stress associated with physical restraint."
Kevin Mansell, Danny Vasquez and Dustin Dillard were the officers involved in that arrest. They were indicted by a grand jury in 2017 on charges of misdemeanor deadly conduct, three months after into Timpa’s death. Following two days of testimony, the grand jury’s indictment stated that the "officers engaged in reckless conduct that placed Timpa in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.” Those charges would later be dismissed by the District Attorney.
District Attorney John Creuzot previously told The Dallas Morning News that he met with "all three medical examiners" who had testified to the grand jury. They reportedly told him they did not believe the officers acted recklessly and "cannot, and will not, testify to the elements of the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt."
The Dallas Police Department has been fighting for years to prevent this video from being released. A judge ruled on Monday that the body cam footage can be released to the public. Court records say, “the public has a compelling interest in understanding what truly took place during a fatal exchange between a citizen and law enforcement.”