Tony Timpa’s family could finally see justice. In a “stunning” reversal, a federal judge overturned a lower court’s decision granting qualified immunity (QI) to the bad cops who killed Timpa in 2016. Per The Dallas Morning News, “civil rights experts called the ruling unusual for…a conservative panel known for backing such protections.”
On August 10, 2016, Tony Timpa, who struggled with mental health issues, called 911, seeking help. Instead, he was met by rogue Dallas cops who proceeded to brutalize him. The officers violently restrained Timpa as he “yelled and begged for help more than 30 times.” After being pinned face down for nearly 15 minutes, Timpa lost consciousness. In response, the cops “laughed and joked about waking him up as he would not be late for school.”
But Tony Timpa didn’t “wake up.”
Seeking accountability, Timpa’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Nevertheless, instead of delivering justice, a court handed the officers QI, ruling that “there were no such previous cases ‘clearly establishing a constitutional violation.’”
However, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. Furthermore, they overruled the earlier, unjust verdict.
The appeals court challenged the officers’ dubious claim that Tony Timpa endangered them. “A jury could find that no objectively reasonable officer would believe that Timpa — restrained, surrounded, and subdued — continued to pose an immediate threat of harm justifying the prolonged use of force,” the court noted in a written statement.
Thus, the suit can move forward—and the bad cops who took Tony Timpa’s life could at last face liability.
Attorney Geoff Henley, the Timpa family lawyer, celebrated the decision. Tony Timpa’s loved ones will finally obtain their fair shot at justice. The Fifth Circuit Court, Henley told The Dallas Morning News, “vindicated everything we have been saying in the last five years.”
Read the full article on the Tony Timpa case here.