Video (below) and audio recently surfaced of police officers in Mesquite, Texas, threatening Graham Dyer, and using a stun gun on the 18-year-old's genitals on Aug. 14, 2013.
Graham's mother, Kathy, recalled to the Austin American-Statesman that she and her husband, Robert, got a call from the police to come to the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas where their son lay unresponsive.
Kathy said the police would not allow her or Robert to go in their son's room: "They said he was in serious trouble -- that he had felony charges for assaulting an officer."
According to Kathy, the police told her that Graham had been high on LSD, had bitten one of the cops who took him into custody, and injured himself inside a police car while being driven to jail.
The incident began when a person called 911 saying there were three guys in front of a school, and that one of the men, believed to be Graham, was "acting very erratic by rolling around on the ground, screaming and banging his head," notes The Dallas Morning News.
Graham succumbed to his injuries, and was declared brain dead while Kathy and Robert were at the hospital. A medical examiner said their son died from accidental self-inflicted head injuries, reports the Austin American-Statesman.
However, Graham's parents noticed "chicken feet" scratch marks on his body, and the ER doctor noted that Graham appeared to have been assaulted. The scratch marks would turn out to be caused by the wire prongs from multiple police stun gun shocks.
The Mesquite Police Department refused to release its records of the incident, which included video and audio. Texas law doesn't require the release of records in a case that does not end in a conviction; Graham couldn't be convicted because he was dead.
Then-Attorney General Greg Abbott, now the Republican Governor of Texas, agreed that the police did not have to release the records.
However, the Dyers were eventually able to get those records because they contacted the FBI and asked the federal agency to look into a possible civil rights violation by the police.
As part of that procedure, the records were given to the FBI, and the Dyers were able to obtain the records from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act.
The FBI blurred the faces of the police in video, but one police officer was filmed standing on Graham’s head. More footage showed Graham in the backseat of a cruiser, bound by his feet and hands, and throwing himself around.
A police officer was filmed using a stun gun on Graham several times; the cop shocked Graham's testicles.
Records showed that the police shocked Graham multiple times, and dash cam audio recorded a police officer threatening Graham in the back seat of the police cruiser: "Motherf*****, I’m going to kill you."
The City of Mesquite insisted in court papers that the stun gun was used to "prevent escape and prevent him from injuring himself," even though the weapon itself causes injury.
The city insisted that the cop was aiming for Graham’s leg in the darkness. The video appears to show the cop trying to fire the weapon directly at Graham's groin.
The video also showed Graham falling out of the cruiser and collapsing on the carport at the jail. But the police report said that when Graham arrived at the jail, he had to be put into a special restraint chair "until the jail personnel noticed he was having labored breathing."
Police did not get an ambulance to the jail for another two hours, according to records.
The Dyers filed a complaint in May 2016, accusing the police of mistreating their son.
The Mesquite Police Department wanted the case dismissed, but U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle ruled in January: "Now [the Dyers'] allegations, taken as true, allow the Court to plausibly infer that the force used on Graham was objectively unreasonable given his alleged relatively non-threatening behavior."