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No further punishment for Dallas officers who mocked disabled veteran, interim city manager says

A man in a baseball cap sits among rows of blue seats.
Toluwani Osibamowo
/
KERA
Dynell Lane watches an April 9, 2024 meeting of the city of Dallas' Community Police Oversight Board at Dallas City Hall. The board will request a formal review of discipline handed down to Dallas police officers mocked Lane — who is a veteran and disabled — after denying him access to a restroom at a Deep Ellum pizzeria in June 2023, after which he urinated himself.

No further discipline will be handed down to four Dallas police officers caught on camera mocking a disabled veteran in a Deep Ellum pizzeria last year after he urinated himself, according to a memo from interim City Manager Kim Tolbert obtained by KERA News Tuesday.

The Dallas Community Police Oversight Board requested Tolbert review whether a written reprimand and sensitivity training were enough punishment for the officers who mocked Dynell Lane.

After that review, Tolbert said the punishment was sufficient.

"I feel confident that the officers have received appropriate training relating to this issue and expect them to have improved interactions in similar situations moving forward," she wrote.

According to remarks delivered to the board last August, Lane was disabled after he served overseas in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. He was medically evacuated from combat and underwent surgery on his lower body.

The officers wouldn't let Lane use the restroom at Serious Pizza about one year ago despite his attempts to show them documentation proving he could use employee restrooms due to his disability.

Lane told officers he had urinated himself as he left the restaurant. Four of them can be seen in body camera footage laughing about the incident.

According to the memo, the officers' training touched on professionalism and communicating with people with disabilities.

Lane requested the oversight board review the Dallas Police Department's punishment, saying the officers should be fired.

Lane did not respond to requests for comment on Tolbert's findings.

The board did not discuss Lane's case at their June meeting, which ended early Tuesday night due to technical difficulties. Board members won't meet again until August.

District 14 board member Brandon Friedman told KERA News he's generally satisfied with the discipline and Tolbert's review, but said the officers still should have apologized to Lane directly.

"That's the sort of thing that we need more of," Friedman said. "That's the sort of thing that would really go a long way toward diffusing not just this situation, but a lot of similar situations."

Got a tip? Email Toluwani Osibamowo at tosibamowo@kera.org. 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.