internal investigation Moody Ortega Diamond S. Ross DPD Dallas Police Department police custody videos overdose wheelchair City Detention Center
Photo credit: Dallas Police Department

DPD Releases Videos of Diamond S. Ross Dying in Police Custody, Family Wants Action

The Dallas Police Department (DPD) released three separate videos on Nov. 6 that detailed the final moments of Diamond S. Ross’ life. The videos were made public almost a year after an internal investigation by the department, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Ross, 34, died from a drug overdose after being arrested and taken into police custody on Aug. 18, 2018. Though the three videos show the events that led up to her death, there are no time stamps to confirm how much time elapsed between her arrest and her time of death.

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One of the videos taken from inside the patrol car showed the woman begging for medical help and even water as officers ignored her pleas while they transported her to the City Detention Center.

The facility was roughly 8 miles away from the home on Exeter Avenue where Ross was detained. By the time Ross arrived at the City Detention Center, she was unresponsive, according to court records.

Video footage from inside the patrol car

The video showed that Ross was dragged inside the building by her arms by officers later identified by police as Sr. Cpl. Larry Moody and trainee officer William Ortega. She was then placed into a cell on the floor. In the video, officers could be seen placing her limp body into a wheelchair. It’s not known if she was breathing at that point.

Officers even processed another prisoner as Ross sat motionless outside the cell. Finally, an unidentified detention officer checked on her and called paramedics, who arrived on the scene and immediately administered CPR. She was later transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Video footage from an officer’s bodycam

Video footage from inside the City Detention Center

A statement from the DPD said that Moody and Ortega were the only officers investigated by internal affairs. Moody was given a written reprimand while Ortega resigned in August 2019 during the probe. Though Moody was formally disciplined, he was not demoted or suspended.

At a meeting for the newly-formed Dallas Community Police Oversight Board on Tuesday, Ross’ distraught family demanded answers, according to WFAA-Dallas. The board’s purpose is to boost public trust within the city of Dallas between its residents and the DPD. The members ensure that complaints of misconduct are thoroughly investigated.

The victim’s mother, Ethelyn Ross, did not make any comments. Other family members, however, were vocal and emotional about the lack of action and blatant neglect Ross experienced before she died.

Ross’ niece Kia’tenai Thomas addressed the board during the time allotted for the public to speak.

“For her to ask for multiple multiple times for water, for help, no one thought to help her throughout that entire process — my aunt could still be here today if y’all gave her that chance,” Thomas said. “But you didn’t.”

The Community Police Oversight Board, in a unanimous vote, decided to look further into Ross’ death.

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