The video was released to the public Tuesday after a federal judge ruled Monday in favor of both the Dallas Morning News and fellow Texas outlet NBC 5’s request to release records tied to the death of Tony Timpa.
Timpa died August 10, 2016, moments after he reached out to police, telling the Dallas dispatcher that he was suffering from depression and schizophrenia, and that he was feeling afraid and scared. He also informed the official that he’d been off his medications.
Timpa made the call from inside an adult video store, according to NBC 5, which later noted that the 32-year-old was put in handcuffs by security guards after he suddenly ran out of the store.
Released video begins with Dallas police on the scene, attempting to get information from Timpa. At this point, officers already suspected that Timpa had taken drugs, and an autopsy report later revealed he had used cocaine.
“Help me,” Timpa is heard yelling as several officers stand around him. When an officer instructs him to lay on the ground, Timpa says, “No, you’re gonna kill me. You’re gonna kill me. You’re gonna kill me.”
Video shows that officers forced Timpa to lie facedown on the grass with his hands behind his back and his legs zip-tied together. Additionally, an officer identified as Dustin Dillard kneeled atop Timpa with his knee in his back for more than 13 minutes.
Throughout the recording, officers make remarks about the area in which Timpa lives, joking that he’s “out cold” and that he needs to wake up because “it’s time for school.” An officer is heard off-camera mimicking a teen asking a parent to let them sleep for an additional five minutes. Officers are repeatedly heard laughing as Timpa is unconscious.
Just as Timpa’s limp body is placed on a gurney, Dillard begins to question whether or not Timpa is simply “knocked out” or if he’s dead. “Is he knocked out? He’s not dead, is he? He didn’t just die down there, did he?” the officer asks.
Another officer responds to him, saying, “I don't think he did.” Dillard hits back with, “I hope I didn't kill him.” After a brief pause and inaudible commentary, the officers on scene begin laughing.
Shortly afterward, paramedics inform the officers that Timpa is not breathing. “Oh s**t … he ain’t breathing,” an officer is heard saying off-camera. “Oh f**k.” The released footage ends with an officer saying, “He’s dead.”
An autopsy report revealed that Timpa’s death was ruled a homicide, and that his sudden cardiac arrest death was the result of "the toxic effects of cocaine and the stress associated with physical restraint."
The incident later led to a 2017 indictment against Dillard and officers Danny Vasquez and Kevin Mansell. Although the trio were hit with charges of misdemeanor deadly conduct, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot dismissed the charges, Dallas News reported.
Citing Dallas police, NBC 5 reported that all three officers were back to “full duty” as of April 2019. No statement regarding the video release has been made by the district attorney’s office.