Police Brutality’s Cure Lies in National Policing Standards
“All I can see on that video is my Dad just trying to live for his kids, just fighting for us … You can hear his voice get muffled and high-pitched. It sounds like he was scared. Really scared. He wasn’t fighting the police. He was fighting to breathe.”
- Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner. Rest in Peace, Erica. Your fight is our fight, and there will be Justice for All.
Five hundred nineteen people have been killed by police in the USA in 2019 between the start of the year and July 30 according to The Washington Post’s Fatal Force database of police brutality. Too many of these cases look like the high-profile tragedies we have seen in the national media. Here are links to the explicit and horrifying video footage of the killings of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, and Tony Timpa. The facts in each of these cases are hideous, and even worse is the lack of sufficient consequences suffered by those police officers responsible for these killings.
The recently released video (they say it took 3 years of exhausting litigation to wrest a copy from the grip of the police department!) of Tony Timpa’s killing is just one hideous example of alleged police negligence and bravado that allegedly caused Mr. Timpa’s death. The following general facts are based on the allegations of those fighting on behalf of Mr. Timpa, as well as observable facts seen in the video itself:
On August 10, 2016 in Dallas, TX, Mr. Timpa called 911 on himself stating that he was mentally ill, on the verge of a breakdown, and needed help. He was unarmed and afraid. Private security guards and police on the scene handcuffed him with his hands behind his back, and they put him face down in the grass. Then he began to futilely resist in fear for his life because of the way the officers had cuffed and handled him, screaming repeatedly “You’re gonna kill me!”; so the cops zip-tied his legs together as well. One officer pushed him further into the ground, put a knee on his back, and held him there for 13 minutes. He protested with muffled sounds as his face and mouth were buried in the grass and an officer’s weight was on his back while he was still handcuffed. As he was pinned in this horrifying position, the other officers and guards stood around him making fun of him like cruel adolescents, taunting him about his past problems, his difficult life circumstances, and even his mental illness. Within 20 minutes of the arrival of the…