A federal judge in Dallas has thrown out an excessive force lawsuit filed against five Dallas police officers who handcuffed and pinned a mentally ill man to the ground shortly before he died.
In a 27-page ruling, U.S. District Judge David Godbey granted the officers’ motion for summary judgment in the case of Tony Timpa. The unarmed Rockwall man died in 2016 from “sudden cardiac death due to the toxic effects of cocaine and physiological stress associated with physical restraint,” court records show.
Godbey based his decision, signed Monday, on the controversial doctrine of qualified immunity. Under that standard, Timpa’s family had to identify a specific case in the Fifth Circuit court of appeals that clearly established that the officers’ conduct at the time was unconstitutional.