WATCH: Mesquite Police Watched as Handcuffed Teen Hit His Head 50 Times Before Dying

When Mesquite police arrived at a local middle school late on a summer night in 2013, Graham Dyer was pounding his head on the ground. Earlier, witnesses reported seeing him ram his head into a building. A friend explained that the 18-year-old was experiencing a bad LSD trip.

Police have a legal duty to care for their prisoners, and after Dyer was handcuffed, two medics were called to the scene. But their evaluation was brief — no report of his exam was created — and they quickly left. One Mesquite officer later termed the medics “worthless.”

The officers nevertheless have cited the examination to demonstrate they provided adequate care for the teenager, whose in-custody death the American-Statesman profiled earlier this year. But newly filed court documents show that after the medics left, police continued to observe Dyer acquire an accumulation of serious injuries. Time and again, they failed to take action that could have saved his life.

While being loaded into a cruiser, Dyer banged his head several times against the car. During the first mile on the drive to the city jail, he slammed his head 19 times against the side door, back seat or metal cage separating the car’s front and back.

Halfway to the jail, in what they have described as an attempt to calm him down, the officers pulled to the side of the road. One used his Taser, shocking Dyer in his testicles.

Some police departments call for a medical evaluation after Taser use. Instead of diverting to the emergency room a half-mile away, however, the officers resumed driving. No additional restraints were applied, and during the second half of the trip Dyer hit his head against the car’s interior 27 more times.

At the jail, officers unloaded the handcuffed and leg-tied Dyer onto the sally-port floor outside the jail. There, they watched him bang his head again on the concrete pad.

Despite the approximately 50 blows they’d observed to the teen’s head since his on-scene medical evaluation, none of the officers could recall informing the jail staff of the trauma. Nor, apparently, was a medical examination performed during the custody transfer. No medical intake form was completed.

Medical help wasn’t summoned until two hours later, when a guard noticed Dyer was unresponsive in his cell. He died the next day at a Dallas hospital — an accident due to self-inflicted blunt force trauma, according to the Dallas County medical examiner’s office.

The outlines of Dyer’s death were reported by the Statesman in April. The details of what his family claims was fatal medical negligence by Mesquite police have trickled out from police depositions and other court documents as part of a civil lawsuit his parents have filed against five officers.

In it, Kathy and Robert Dyer assert that in addition to using excessive force on their son, police ignored his medical needs even though they knew or should have known the severity of his injuries. They also note several important inconsistencies in what police first reported happened to Graham and what actually occurred.

The lawsuit initially was thwarted by the Police Department’s refusal to give the Dyers records related to Graham’s death.

Mesquite was able to withhold them because of a Texas law that says law enforcement agencies don’t have to turn over their records if a defendant isn’t convicted of a crime. Graham was charged with assault for allegedly biting an officer in the finger while being arrested, but he was never convicted because he died before his case could be heard. Without the reports and videos, the family’s lawsuit against the Mesquite officers was quickly dismissed because it contained insufficient details of the incident.

Desperate for information, Kathy and Robert had also asked the FBI to investigate Graham’s death. Although the federal agency ultimately decided it was unable to bring a civil rights case against the Mesquite officers, the Dyers realized they could circumvent city officials by asking the bureau for the records it had reviewed during its investigation. More than two years after their son’s death, the federal agency turned over dashcam videos of that night.

For full story visit: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/crime–law/mesquite-police-watched-teen-sustain-head-blows-their-custody/J4BkiJcHdcC2oJ1UO6G83I/?ref=cbTopWidget

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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