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Disabled veteran asks for speedier investigation into Dallas police caught on camera mocking him

The City Plan Commission Subdivision Review Committee gathered at Dallas City Hall to vote on renaming Jim Miller Road.
Zara Amaechi
The City Plan Commission Subdivision Review Committee gathered at Dallas City Hall to vote on renaming Jim Miller Road.

Dallas resident and veteran Dynell Lane wants Dallas City Council members to help speed up the investigation into the police officers caught on camera mocking him at a pizzeria last June.

Lane told the city’s Community Police Oversight Board in August two off-duty officers wouldn’t let him use the bathroom at Serious Pizza in Deep Ellum June 10, 2023 despite showing officers and a restaurant manager documentation detailing his disability caused by injuries during his deployments in the Middle East.

Lane said Wednesday he then called 911 for help and was still denied access to the bathroom by the two officers. He then urinated himself, which he told the officers as he was leaving the restaurant. Body camera footage shows four officers, including two on duty, laughing about the incident.

“I’m asking for assistance,” Lane told council members at Wednesday’s meeting. “This is why my provider provided me these documents to present this to these officers, to assist me as public servants.”

The Restroom Access Act, or Ally’s Law, requires retail establishments to provide employee restroom access to those with eligible medical conditions.

An initial investigation cleared all four officers, but the Dallas Police Department said in August the case was reopened by the department’s Internal Affairs Division. The investigation was temporarily paused for an unspecified amount of time due to an employee on medical leave, but police spokesperson Kristin Lowman told KERA in February it has since resumed.

A Zoom video meeting screen shows a horizontal row of screens of meeting attendees, two showing video of individuals sitting behind a camera and three showing black screens with initials and names of meeting attendees. Below is a screenshot of police body camera footage showing two officers standing on opposite sides of the screen, talking, with a third barely visible in the background to the right. Behind them in the footage is a row of white chairs turned upside down on a red countertop. Text overlaying the video reads "Community Police Oversight Board."
Dallas City News Network
At an Aug. 8 meeting, the city of Dallas Community Police Oversight Board watched body camera from June 10 of four Dallas police officers laughing about denying Dynell Lane, a disabled veteran, access to the restroom at Serious Pizza in Dallas.

Police spokesperson Kristin Lowman said in an email the case is still open until discipline — if any — is issued against the officers.

"No administrative investigation is complete until it has been reviewed and signed off on by the Chief of Police or their designee," she wrote.

After his comments, city leaders told Lane someone would be helping him with his concerns. District 3 Councilman Zarin Gracey thanked Lane for his military service and his courage for talking about the incident.

Gracey also called on Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia to clear any unnecessary red tape that may be delaying the investigation into Lane’s case.

“When you have a community who doesn’t hate the police but are longing for a relationship, these type of delays hinder that relationship,” Gracey said.

Lane’s case is also tied up in confusion over the police oversight board’s authority to investigate complaints against police officers.

Anyone with a complaint may go to internal affairs or the Office of Community Police Oversight. But Elaine Chandler, the office’s interim director, told board members in February the board cannot investigate a complaint if IAD hasn't already done so.

That’s according to what Chandler said is a confidential legal opinion from the City Attorney’s Office.

The opinion runs contrary to how the board says it’s operated for years, though Chandler said the restriction on investigations had long been in place through a city ordinance.

Members also pointed out enforcing that ordinance could have precluded them from investigating Lane’s case.

Councilman Jesse Moreno thanked his fellow District 2 representative on the CPOB Jonathan Maples for his work looking into Lane’s case. Maples and other board members have questioned why the investigation seems to be taking so long.

“I know that I believe this is coming back to (the Community Police Oversight Board) next month, and I hope again for a speedy resolution to that,” Moreno said.

Got a tip? Email Toluwani Osibamowo at You can follow Toluwani on X @tosibamowo.

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Toluwani Osibamowo is a general assignments reporter for KERA. She previously worked as a news intern for Texas Tech Public Media and copy editor for Texas Tech University’s student newspaper, The Daily Toreador, before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is originally from Plano.