Newly released body camera footage showed police officers in Dallas, Texas, joking after a pinned, handcuffed man who later died became unresponsive, instead of checking his pulse or performing CPR, according to The Dallas Morning News.
In the footage, officers who pinned Tony Timpa to the ground by his neck, shoulders, and knees are depicted four minutes after Timpa became unresponsive performed CPR, instead making jokes about waking him up for school.
Officers claimed they believed Timpa was asleep and said they heard him snoring while he was face-down in the grass with his legs zip-tied and his arms handcuffed behind his back.
On Monday, a federal judge ordered the release of the footage from Timpa’s 2016 death in response to a motion by NBC5 and the newspaper, ruling the public has a compelling interest in understanding what really happened during “a fatal exchange between a citizen and law enforcement.”
After Timpa called 911 and told a dispatcher that he was a paranoid schizophrenic who was off his medication and needed help, he was restrained.
Since September 2016, city and county officials fought 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.
In 2017, officers Dustin Dillard, Kevin Mansell, and Danny Vasquez were indicted 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 the back of Timpa 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.