Mesquite, TX — As the Free Thought Project reported earlier this year, police were caught on video tasering a young man's testicles and his body — until he died. Then, in June we learned that although the Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson found that the officers involved had committed a crime during their torture — they cannot be charged. Now, to add insult to unaccountable injury and death, according to court documents released this week, the cops are defending their tactics, calling their torturous acts that fateful night, standard procedure.
Last week, Mesquite police officers Jack Fyall, Richard Houston, Alan Gafford, Zachary Scott, William Heidelburg and Bill Hedgpeth, the ones responsible for the death of Graham Dyer, asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit brought against them by his Dyer's parents.
"If I could go back in time and have this case, it would be indicted," said Michael Snipes, the first assistant district attorney. "We would have pursued criminally negligent homicide charges."
These charges cannot be brought now, however, because — in spite of the family only recently finding out about their son's horrifying death — cops kept the footage of it secret long enough for the statute of limitations to expire.
As My Statesmen reported in June, such charges cannot be brought more than three years after the incident, which came to the district attorney's attention as the result of an American-Statesman investigation earlier in the year. And while there is no such limitation on the higher charge of manslaughter, Snipes said the officers' behavior that contributed to Graham's death didn't reach the level of a knowing disregard for his life.
On August 14, 2013, Kathy and Robert Dyer got a phone call one night that is every parent's nightmare — their son, Graham, was in the hospital. The 18-year-old boy had been severely injured during a struggle with police and was fighting for his life — a fight he would lose.