Dallas Police Officers Explain Mocking Strategy of Tony Timpa in New Audio - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Police Officers Explain Mocking Strategy of Tony Timpa in New Audio

Audio recording released Friday are the first the public has heard from officers involved in the arrest of a 911 caller who died in custody

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    Nearly three years after Tony Timpa died while in Dallas police custody, we're seeing newly released body cam footage as well as hearing new audio from the officers involved.

    Timpa's mother first saw body cam video of the incident a few years ago, after she said she was initially mislead about his death. It's taken until this week to get that video made public. On Friday, she called it her own 'private nightmare' and she's glad more people are finally getting a chance to see what happened.

    "Help me, help me," Tony Timpa can be heard saying repeatedly on the footage.

    They're the pleas heard over and over that continue to haunt Vicki Timpa.

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    "I have seen it every day of my life since I saw it the first time and that's why I don't get to sleep anymore," she said.

    Pleas from that fateful night on August 10, 2016. 32-year-old Timpa was unarmed, barefoot and acting irrational on West Mockingbird when he was handcuffed by two security guards, then Dallas Police.

    Schizophrenic and on cocaine, he called 911 for help.

    On Friday, his family's attorney went over the 14 minutes in which footage shows him held to the ground, mostly face down, with a knee to his back. At one point, his feet are zip-tied.

    "And that's the help my son got," Vicki Timpa said.

    Twelve minutes into the video, you can hear his cries start to muffle. By thirteen minutes, you no longer hear Timpa, who's face is in the grass.

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    "I want to make sure he's still breathing, his nose is buried," someone on the body camera footage can be heard saying,

    Instead of concern, you hear jokes and laughter from officers.

    "Tony we bought you new shoes for the first day of school," one officers can be heard saying, along with talk of waffles as encouragement for him to wake up.

    We hear their explanation in newly released audio from a disciplinary hearing.

    "When we're kind of going through that banter and mocking and everything, I was just trying to see if I could get him to kind of perk up, so OK.. now I know he's listening," one officer said. "I had a strategy in mind. Of course looking back at everything, it was the completely wrong way to approach it."

    "If I could apologize to him, I would apologize to him," a second officer said at the hearing.

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    Five minutes passed between the time Timpa goes quiet and when he gets CPR. Unfortunately, it's too late.

    "He didn't just die down there did he," Officer Dustin Dillard said. "Hope I didn't kill him."

    Criminal charges against the Dallas officers were dropped this past spring, but at least two were given written reprimands by the department.

    "What you guys said does not represent the DPD officers of today," a high-ranking Dallas police official said at the hearing.

    For Timpa's mother, it's not enough.

    "The best thing that can happen to my son right now is for these officers to lose their badge," she said.

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    As far as what the officer said about mocking Timpa as a 'strategy,' Dallas Police would not comment on whether that's something officers are trained to do because of pending legal action.

    The Timpa family still plans to sue four of the officers involved. Three of them for excessive force and one for bystander liability. That suit is still in the early stages, but there's a trial date set for about this time, next year.

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