3 Dallas Cops Indicted in Death of Unarmed Man Who Had Called 911 For Help

Three Dallas police officers were indicted Thursday on criminal charges in connection with last year’s death of an unarmed Rockwall man who called 911 for help.

Panicking and high on cocaine, Tony Timpa was dead within an hour of calling police to a seedy stretch of West Mockingbird Lane in August 2016.

Tony Timpa died in August 2016 at age 32. His family has fought for more than a year to find answers in his death.

The responding officers mocked the 32-year-old as he died, with one officer’s knee pinned in his back for more than 14 minutes, according to evidence revealed in a September investigation by The Dallas Morning News.
Indictments of police officers were once rare, but six cops — including a fired Mesquite officer who was also indicted this week — have been criminally charged this year.

Dallas police Sgt. Kevin Mansell, 48, and Officer Danny Vasquez, 32, were each indicted on one count of misdemeanor deadly conduct by a Dallas County grand jury in connection with Timpa’s death.

The third officer faces the same charge but was not identified because he has yet to surrender to authorities.
Timpa’s mother, Vicki Timpa, told The News she’s pleased the grand jury indicted the officers, though she was puzzled that it was a misdemeanor and not a felony charge.

“They need to go to jail,” she said. “I want them to smell the rust on the bars.”

Timpa said she wants the public to see body camera footage of what happened that night, but officials have refused to release it so far.

Dallas police officials have not said whether the officers have been disciplined and did not respond to a request for comment about the indictments.

On Wednesday, former Mesquite Officer Derick Wiley was indicted on a felony charge of aggravated assault by a public servant. Mesquite police fired Wiley last week after an internal affairs investigation into the Nov. 8 shooting of 31-year-old Lyndo Jones.

Several civil rights advocates criticized how the Police Department and the Dallas County district attorney’s office handled the Mesquite investigation.

Attorney Lee Merritt also alleged that officers performed an “anal cavity search” on Jones after the shooting.
Mesquite Chief Charles Cato said that allegation was not accurate, adding that body cameras recorded the incident.
“This generation of police officers is the most documented, recorded, tracked,” Cato said Thursday. “There’s nothing they can do that won’t be seen.”

In Timpa’s case, The Dallas Morning News sought records from the Dallas Police Department related to his death for more than a year. In September, The News published an investigation documenting discrepancies in official records and the Timpa family’s struggle to get answers about how the man died.

On Aug. 10, 2016, Timpa called 911 asking for help after he panicked in the parking lot of a porn store. He told a dispatcher he feared for his safety, that he suffered from anxiety and schizophrenia and was off his prescription medications.

A private security guard handcuffed Timpa before Dallas officers arrived. Timpa was unarmed, in shorts and barefoot.

Footage from police body cameras shows the officers mocking Timpa as he struggled to breathe, according to a lawsuit filed by Timpa’s family.

Lawsuit filings allege that two of the body camera angles show one of the officers’ knee remained on Timpa’s back for more than 14 minutes, while Timpa repeatedly begged: “Don’t hurt me.”

For full story visit: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2017/12/07/3-dallas-cops-indicted-death-unarmed-man-called-911-help