In an emotional press conference Friday morning, Vicki Timpa recalled the searing pain of learning the truth about her son Tony Timpa’s last moments in August 2016, pinned face-down on the ground by the same Dallas Police officers he’d called for help.
Vicki said Friday a detective with the Dallas Police told her Tony died in the back of an ambulance en route to the hospital, and that the 32-year-old had smiled and waved at officers from the back of the ambulance, thanking them before it left the scene.
Newly released body camera footage of the Aug. 10, 2016, incident reveals a starkly different picture, one in which officers pin Tony to the ground for 14 minutes while he cries for help and says he’s going to die until he becomes unresponsive. Then, instead of checking his pulse or breathing, they mock him while he’s dead.
Tony had called authorities that night seeking help, telling a dispatcher he had schizophrenia and had not taken his medication. An autopsy showed he was high on cocaine at the time.
A medical examiner would later rule the death a homicide, finding the cocaine and the stress of physical restraint led to sudden cardiac arrest.
“I have seen [the video] every day of my life since I saw it the first time,” Vicki told the media Friday. “That’s why I don’t get to sleep anymore.”
“It’s really hard to hear my son scream, ‘Help me’ and cry, and they laugh at him, and they torture him, and they kill him, and they have fun doing it,” she continued. “And they keep doing it even when he’s not breathing, and then they’re still making jokes, because see — it was fun for them. They were all in a circle having fun, laughing. They all had fun.”
Yelling at times to fight off a mixture of rage and tears, Vicki voiced her way through what she imagined was going through the officers’ heads at the time:
“‘We get this 911 call,’” she said. “‘This guy needs help. Let’s go have fun with him. Let’s torture him and kill him ― and we won’t use a bullet, we’ll use our hands.’”
“And that’s the help my son got,” she said.
Vicki pleaded for answers at times, wondering aloud at the absurdity of taxpayers forking over money “to be murdered and tortured.”
“Who are we hiring?” she asked later. “How many more [murders] will there be?”
A grand jury in 2017 indicted Sgt. Kevin Mansell and Officers Danny Vasquez and Dustin Dillard on a misdemeanor charge of deadly conduct, but prosecutors dismissed the charges in March.
Vicki waved off the investigation and dismissal of charges as being nothing but “lip service.” All three officers have returned to active duty.
“Dallas police rule this place,” she warned. “All of you, be very afraid. I was scared coming here today because it’s in Dallas. I don’t drive to Dallas; I don’t go to Dallas; I would never live in Dallas. They will hunt you down.”
“The best thing that can happen to my son right now is for these policemen to lose their badge in every jurisdiction in the United States of America,” she said.
“And let these other cops — that are good, wonderful, decent people — do their job.”
The distraught mother apologized later for yelling, saying she’s still upset and emotional about the loss of her son, whom she fondly recalled watching take his first steps and growing up.
“My son was very successful,” she reflected, “but I’m sure everybody says the same thing about their child that was murdered.”
“Mothers and fathers beware: Do not believe anything you hear from those people at the [Dallas Police Department]” she said.