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Two Dallas Medics Placed on Probation for Failing to Intervene in Tony Timpa’s In-Custody Death

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Tony Timpa died in custody of Dallas police in 2016 while suffering a mental health emergency. Officers kept Timpa pinned face down to the ground for more than 14 minutes. (Provided) An investigation by the Texas state health department found that medics Curtis Burnley and James Flores failed to intervene even when it appeared Timpa was unconscious.

Two Texas paramedics who were on scene when Dallas resident Tony Timpa died after being pinned under a police officer’s knee for more than 14 minutes in 2016 have been placed on probation for two years for not properly intervening during the encounter, the Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday.

An investigation by the Texas state health department found that medics Curtis Burnley and James Flores failed to intervene even when it appeared Timpa was unconscious, the Morning News reported.  The two medics also failed to report that they had given Timpa a sedative while he was being held down, and falsified Timpa’s patient care report.

“You engaged in conduct that resulted in physical and emotional abuse/injury to a patient when you responded to a call involving a patient restrained by a police officer by handcuffs on both hands and legs,” state documents read, according to the Morning News. “Specifically, as the highest medical authority on the scene of the call, you failed to intervene on behalf of the patient in accordance with your medical director’s protocol.”

Timpa was 32 when he died custody of Dallas police officers in August 2016. He was suffering from a mental-health breakdown at the time, and had called 911 for help.

The Timpa case has received renewed attention because of the many similarities between Timpa’s death and George Floyd’s death in custody of Minneapolis police in 2020. Both cases involved large men who’d taken drugs and died after they were pinned to the ground for an extended period in the prone position. Neither man was armed, and neither had committed a significant crime (police were called to the Timpa case for a medical emergency). Both men cried for help before they died (Timpa:

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