Investigations have been launched after four Dallas police officers were seen laughing over a disabled military veteran urinating on himself after his request to use a restaurant restroom was declined.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the June 10 incident occurred at a Deep Ellum restaurant around 2 a.m. The disabled veteran, Dynell Lane, told the city’s police oversight members that he had wanted to use a restroom at Serious Pizza but was turned away by employees.
He also said two uniformed off-duty Dallas police officers providing security at the establishment declined to take a look at his medical paperwork after he was told he wouldn’t be allowed to use the restroom. Lane, who reportedly had operations on the lower parts of his body after sustaining injuries while on deployment in Afghanistan and Kuwait, ended up urinating on himself.
“My life has changed, drastically changed, and has been a constant fight having to explain myself about my disability just to get assistance,” Lane said. “This battle leaves me in a constant depression and suicidal at times because of the shame of asking strangers for help while in public.”
Texas and several other states have passed a law that allows people to use the restroom of an establishment if they can prove they have a medical issue that has necessitated an immediate use of a toilet facility, The Dallas Morning News reported. That individual must, however, not enter the premises unlawfully.
Lane called 911 after being denied access to the restroom, but the responding officers got to the restaurant after he soiled himself. He also said his medical condition has to do with urine and bowel leakage.
“The Dallas Police Department failed me,” the military veteran said. “Two Dallas police officers discriminated against me and declined to assist me in bridging the gap between myself and the Serious Pizza manager.”
In body-camera footage, two on-duty Dallas officers are seen having a conversation with the off-duty officers after entering the restaurant. The on-duty officers are heard inquiring about an individual reporting that “they pissed themselves.”
“So you guys made a guy pee himself?” one of the on-duty officers asks and bursts into laughter. “Yeah,” one of the off-duty officers is heard saying with a smile. The officers are also heard saying Lane called 911 over the incident.
“He called 911 on us?” one of the off-duty officers asks. “Yeah,” the officers respond before the off-duty officer is heard saying, “ahhh!” He is also seen audibly laughing while the second off-duty officer smiles.
“He got mad you guys wouldn’t let him use the restroom and then he calls back and said it’s OK he doesn’t need to pee anymore because he soiled —” one of the responding officers says.
In his complaint, Lane wrote that before making his way out of Serious Pizza, he told one of the off-duty officers that he had soiled himself. But the officer sarcastically responded with a “sorry” and then “continued his conversation with an unknown individual”, The Dallas Morning News reported.
“I had higher expectations from the city,” said Lane. “Please hear me when I ask all to make change so no one with a disability will endure what I had to endure.”