Jurors have shared their regret over the verdict in a civil trial for four Dallas police officers accused in the death of Tony Timpa.
Officers Dustin Dillard, Raymond Dominguez, Danny Vasquez and Kevin Mansell all interacted with the 32-year-old who called 911 during a 2016 mental health crisis.
Officer Dillard was accused of excessive force for kneeling on Timpa’s back for around 14 minutes, while the others were accused of failing to intervene.
Candice Higginbotham and Megan Williams have now spoken out after their eight-person jury awarded just $1m to Timpa’s 15-year-old son and denied his parents and estate anything. Lawyers for the Timpa family had asked for more than $300m.
“As soon as he read the verdict, I wanted to cry,” 31-year-old Ms Higginbotham told The Dallas Morning News. “It just did not sit well with me from the get-go, and I felt like I should have done more.”
And she added: “I would have given them everything they asked for.”
She said that the pair argued back and forth with the other members of the jury for more than six hours at the end of the seven-day trial.
Police body camera video showed that Timpa, who died within 20 minutes of the officers arriving at the scene, was handcuffed and pinned facedown by the officers as he cried out for help.
When he became unresponsive the officers were caught on video joking about waking him up for school.
“We were in the room with those jurors, and we know that they know those cops did wrong,” said 32-year-old Ms Williams.
“They were just worried where that money was going to come from. They were worried about those police livelihoods when those police weren’t worried about Tony’s.”
An autopsy ruled Timpa’s death a homicide caused by sudden cardiac death due to “the toxic effects of cocaine and the stress associated with physical restraint.”
Lawyers for his family say that he died because of the position that the officers placed him in, while attorneys for the officers say that a combination of drug abuse, heart conditions and mental illness caused his death.
The jury ruled that Officers Dillard, Dominguez and Vasquez had violated Timpa’s constitutional rights.
But they also determined that Officers Dillard and Vasquez were covered by qualified immunity, a law that protects government officials such as police officers from lawsuits.