DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Three Dallas Police officers were cleared this year after an unarmed man died in their custody.
But newly released body camera footage raises questions over whether the officers should be held responsible.READ MORE: Security Expert Shares 'Run, Hide, Fight' Guidance In Wake Of Colleyville Synagogue Hostage Situation
The police body camera video became available this week after a federal judge ruled in favor of a motion filed by media outlets.
CBS 11 asked two former law enforcement veterans to review the footage.
“There are some things that bother me a bit about the video,” said Gil Torrez, a former FBI agent.
In August of 2016, Timpa called 911, saying he suffered from schizophrenia and he was off his medication.
An autopsy report shows Timpa had cocaine in his system that night.
“Tony, stop fighting me,” an officer can be heard saying on the video.
When Dallas Police arrive, Timpa had already been placed in handcuffs by a private security guard.
For roughly 14 minutes, Dallas Police officer Dustin Dillard pins Timpa down using his knee. Officers also zip tie his feet.
At no point during the recording does Timpa threaten police.
Torrez said officers should have treated Timpa more professionally throughout the encounter, especially considering the 32-year-old Rockwall man called 911 in distress.
“I think it makes them look very bad, when they are cutting jokes, laughing and making snide remarks about the gentlemen in this situation,” Torrez said.READ MORE: Colleyville's Congregation Beth Israel Gathers For Special Service In Response To Saturday's Hostage Situation
Torrez also said officers could have restrained Timpa differently.
“Fourteen, fifteen minutes is a long time,” Torrez said. “What would have been wrong with putting him in the car, in the backseat, or sitting him down…he’s handcuffed.”
Rich Emberlin, a 30-year law enforcement veteran, saw the video from another angle.
“I honestly don’t think they could have done anything differently,” Emberlin said. “If there was any inaction, he would have run out into the street and this officer would have been in trouble for letting him get killed. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”
Emberlin worked with the Dallas SWAT team for 15 years. He said he takes no issue with how the officer pressed on Timpa’s back.
A medical examiner ruled Timpa’s death a homicide, listing the cause as sudden cardiac death from cocaine and the stress of physical restraint.
Emerlin said he believes the restraint alone did not kill Timpa, arguing paramedics would have intervened sooner.
On the tape, more than 15 minutes pass before the men move Timpa’s body toward the stretcher–roughly four minutes after Timpa first stopped responding.
“I hope I didn’t kill him,” an officer said on the recording, laughing.
Citing pending litigation, a spokesperson for Dallas Fire-Rescue did not comment as to why paramedics did not intervene sooner.
A spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department said he would also not comment on the release of the video because of an ongoing lawsuit with Timpa’s family.
Geoff Henley, the attorney for Timpa’s family, said he plans moving forward with a civil lawsuit against the department.
Dallas County District Attorney John Cruezot dismissed misdemeanor deadly conduct charges against the three officers last March, stating he interviewed three medical examiners who said the officers did not act recklessly.MORE NEWS: 2 Shot In Possible Road Rage Incident In Justin