I would never show a photo of the actual murder, but I had to write about what happened to Tony Timpa when I watched the recently released body cam footage of his death. Back on August 10, 2016, Tony was in the parking lot of a porn store when he called 911 to ask for help. Struggling with schizophrenia and depression and having ingested drugs, he knew he was quickly spiraling and needed someone to assist him. He was already handcuffed by security guards when the Dallas PD arrived, but they were instantly aggressive and violent with him, shoving Tony’s face into the ground and pinning their arms and knees into his back. At this point, Tony was writhing around in a panic, asking the cops to stop suffocating him. His cries were eerily similar to that of Eric Garner when he was being choked to death on the street. Tony cried, “You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me!” to which the three DPD cops laughed and joked around. After switching his handcuffs and zip-tying his feet together, they pushed their weight onto his body for 13 minutes until his sobs and stressed wails quietly dissipated. As Tony lost consciousness, his nose still buried in the grass, the cops asked if he was asleep and mocked him, saying, “It’s time for school. Wake up!” When paramedics arrived on scene, they instantly injected Tony with powerful sedatives at which point, the cops started questioning Tony’s lifelessness. They still laughed as they lifted his body on to the gurney until one of the cops asked, “He didn’t just die down there, did he?” Tony was already dead by the time the paramedics checked his body. The autopsy revealed that his cause of death was a homicide due to the “toxic effects of cocaine and the stress associated with physical restraint.” Tony Timpa was murdered on the street by Dallas cops when all he wanted was for them to help him. He was in mental distress and he deserved the care that he asked for. Since the murder, Dallas county officials have worked tirelessly to prevent the details of Tony’s death from being released to the public. Even though the three cops who killed him were indicted on misdemeanor deadly conduct charges, the Dallas county DA, John Creuzot, dismissed all charges, placing them back on active duty. A few days ago, three years after Tony was killed, a federal judge released records and the body cam footage from the harrowing night due to the public’s right to know what had transpired.
Cops kill people every single day in America. They kill people and they almost never suffer the consequences for their actions. This is the reason why Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem. This is the reason why implicit bias training for police officers will never stop police brutality and police murders. Before one of the cops turned off his body camera, he said, “Sorry. We tried.” That statement is all you need to know about the armed people killing citizens every day. Rest in power, Tony. You deserved better.