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Dallas City Council approves $2.5M settlement in Tony Timpa's wrongful death lawsuit

A man in a blue suit with six microphones in front of him points to a screen on the left of the image that shows a man lying facedown on grass with a hand on his back.
Jake Bleiberg
Attorney Geoff Henley points out details in body camera footage from 32-year-old Tony Timpa's 2016 death in the custody of Dallas police officers during a press conference, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, in Dallas. A jury found three Dallas police officers liable for Timpa's death and awarded Timpa's son $1 million damages in September 2023.

Dallas City Council members on Wednesday approved a $2.5 million partial settlement for the family of Anthony “Tony” Timpa, who died in Dallas police custody in 2016.

Last September, a Dallas County jury awarded Timpa’s teenage son $1 million in damages in his family’s federal wrongful death lawsuit and nothing to Timpa’s parents or estate.

In a statement ahead of Wednesday's meeting, a city spokesperson said the partial settlement was reached with three of the four plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including Timpa’s son, but did not specify exactly who would receive the settlement money or how it would be divided.

“This settlement allows the jury’s verdict to be fulfilled, and the litigation to be finally concluded as to these plaintiffs,” the statement reads.

Timpa, a 32-year-old trucking executive from Rockwall, had called the police outside a sex store in Dallas and explained over the phone he was dealing with schizophrenia and anxiety and was off his medication. After Timpa crossed the road in a panic, two security guards handcuffed him to the ground.

The lawsuit alleged Dallas Police Officer Dustin Dillard violated Timpa’s Fourth Amendment rights by kneeling on his back for about 14 minutes while he was handcuffed — excessive force the lawsuit says led him to stop breathing.

The suit also alleged Officers Raymond Dominguez and Danny Vasquez and Sgt. Kevin Mansell were liable for Timpa’s death for failing to intervene. Dominguez and Vasquez can be heard in body camera footage during the arrest joking and pretending to try to wake Timpa for school.

Attorneys for the city argued Timpa's preexisting health conditions led to his death and the officers followed all protocol in his arrest.

A jury found all of the officers except Mansell liable but ruled Dillard and Vasquez were protected by qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that protects government officials like police officers from liability in constitutional rights violation cases.

The family's attorney, Geoff Henley, filed a motion for a new trial for damages in October. The settlement is still far less than the more than $300 million he sought on behalf of Timpa’s family.

Henley did not immediately respond to a KERA News request for comment but told the Dallas Morning News the $2.5 million covers attorney fees, pre-judgment interest and litigation risks.

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.