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Newly released bodycam footage captured the final moments of Tony Timpa’s life. Dallas Police Officers pinned Timpa down–and as he fell into unconsciousness, they began making jokes. Moments later he was dead.
According to Dallas Morning News, Timpa called 911 for help from a local store, telling them that he suffered from both schizophrenia and depression. He had taken drugs, was off his mental health medication, and was afraid, he allegedly told them.
In the footage, officers can be heard trying to convince Timpa–who was already handcuffed by a security guard prior to the police arrival–to stay on the ground. When Timpa doesn’t comply, they pin him down by his shoulders, knees, and neck.
“You’re gonna kill me,” Timpa repeatedly says, while asking the officers to release him.
Eventually, Timpa fell into unconsciousness, but police never checked his pulse to confirm if he was breathing or perform CPR. Instead, they joked that he was merely asleep and that they should wake him up and make him waffles for breakfast. They can be heard laughing in the footage.
At least four minutes passed before CPR was administered by the paramedics who arrived on the scene. After an assessment, the first responder tells the officers that Timpa was not breathing.
“Oh shit,” one officer can be heard saying.
The video was released after a three-year fight by the city to keep it under wraps. On Monday, a judge ruled in favor of a motion put forth by news outlets Dallas Morning News and NBC5 to release records regarding Timpa’s death.
“The public has a compelling interest in understanding what truly took place during a fatal exchange between a citizen and law enforcement,” the judge said.
An autopsy revealed Timpa’s death was a homicide caused by cardiac arrest due to “the toxic effects of cocaine and the stress associated with physical restraint.”
Three officers involved–Kevin Mansell, Danny Vasquez, and Dustin Dillard–were indicted by a grand jury in 2017 on charges of misdemeanor deadly conduct. The charges were dismissed in March of 2019, and the officers returned to active duty in April.
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Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.