Newly-released body camera footage showed Dallas police officers cracking jokes after they violently pinned and handcuffed a man who became unresponsive and later died as he laid facedown on the ground, according to the Dallas Morning News.
After Timpa fell unconscious, the officers who had him in handcuffs assumed he was asleep and didn’t confirm that he was breathing or feel for a pulse.
As the minutes passed, the officers laughed and joked about waking Timpa up for school and making him waffles for breakfast.
“Tony, are you still with us?” one officer jokes.
“Tony, time for school,” another says.
“I don’t want to go to school,” an officer says. “Five more minutes, mom.”
Timpa was restrained after he called 911 from the parking lot of a Dallas porn store and told a dispatcher that he was a paranoid schizophrenic who was off his medication and needed help.
When officers arrived, they handcuffed his arms behind his back for nearly 14 minutes and zip-tied his legs together as he wailed and pleaded for help more than 30 times.
“You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me!” he repeatedly yelled.
Officers claimed to have believed Timpa was asleep, and to have heard him snoring while he was face-down in the grass with his arms and legs restrained.
A federal judge on Monday ordered the release of the footage from Timpa’s 2016 death in response to a motion by the newspaper and NBC5, ruling “the public has a compelling interest in understanding what truly took place during a fatal exchange between a citizen and law enforcement.”
The Hill adds:
City and county officials fought since September 2016 against the public release of the records, first arguing it could compromise an ongoing investigation and later because a criminal case against three indicted officers never made it to trial.
Officers Kevin Mansell, Danny Vasquez and Dustin Dillard were indicted in 2017 on misdemeanor deadly conduct charges, but Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot dismissed the charges that March, saying medical examiners told him they did not believe the officers acted recklessly.
The footage depicts Dillard pinning Timpa to the ground with his knee in Timpa’s back for nearly 15 minutes, which, combined with bound arms and legs, is a controversial method of restraint known as the “prone position” that studies have suggested increases the risk of asphyxiation.