Dallas officers involved in death of man in custody said mocking him was part of their strategy

Details of what Dallas police officers told internal affairs about the death of a man in their custody became public for the first time on Friday.

Tony Timpa called 911 for help in August 2016, saying he was schizophrenic and off his medication. The video shows officers restraining Timpa face down on the ground with handcuffs for more than 13 minutes, before he eventually lost consciousness and died.

The case has attracted national attention with body cam video that is disturbing because it shows officers mocking the man as he is being restrained. The body cam video and audio of police interviews were just released through a wrongful death lawsuit. Three officers involved in the deadly encounter were later cleared of criminal charges.

According to the police report, Timpa was acting erratically and running into the street before officers got there. Officers handcuffed Timpa, restraining him face down - one officer has his knee on Timpa's back to keep him from moving.

Officers notice Timpa isn't moving almost 13 minutes into the body camera video.

“Tony, tony – time for school, wake up. I don’t wanna go to school. Five more minutes mom,” officers can be heard saying.

But those mocking comments quickly turn more serious.

“He’s not breathing. He’s not breathing? Oh s---t.”

Timpas death was ruled a homicide -- cardiac arrest brought on by the effects of cocaine and the stress of being restrained.

Sgt. Kevin Mansell, Ofc. Danny Vasquez and Ofc. Dustin Dillard were all on scene and were indicted by a grand jury. But the charges were later dropped because Dallas County District Attorney John Cruezot said multiple medical examiners did not believe the officers acted recklessly and wouldn't testify so beyond a reasonable doubt.

During a DPD disciplinary hearing some of the officers involved said they were trying to keep Timpa from rolling into the street.

“I had a strategy in mind, of course looking back at everything it was the completely wrong way to approach it,” one officer said during the hearing.

The officers got a reprimand for their mocking comments during the incident.

“If I could apologize to him, I would apologize to him for it. Cause um, it’s incorrect, looking at it back, what I said shouldn’t have been said,” an officer said at the hearing.

The Timpa family is suing the City of Dallas and the case is finally moving forward nearly three years after Timpa's death.

“There were several lines of demarcation where they absolutely did not do what they're supposed to do,” said Geoff Henley, Timpa family attorney.

“The best thing that can happen to my son right now is for these police men to lose their badge,” mom Vickie Timpa said.

Attorneys say depositions of everyone involved are scheduled for September. The trial in the civil lawsuit against Dallas PD is set for trial in August 2020.