-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
After an argument between 19-year-old Tyler Comstock and his father, Tyler jumped in his father’s van and took off. The father called the Ames, Iowa police who located the vehicle. A high-speed chase ensued. When the chase ended, Ames police officer McPherson reportedly ordered Tyler to shut off the van’s engine, although this is not heard from the dashcam video, and shot him six times when he refused to comply. Tyler was killed by two gunshots to the chest.
An audio recording indicates that dispatchers pleaded with the officers to “back off” their pursuit. They knew who the driver was so there was no need to endanger themselves or the public.
James Comstock, Tyler’s father, had refused to buy a pack of cigarettes for Tyler: “He took off with my truck. I call the police, and they kill him. It was over a damn pack of cigarettes. I wouldn’t buy him none. And I lose my son for that.”
H/T: Des Moines Register & Tribune, Natasha Lennard, Scott Kaufman.
38 thoughts on “Father Calls Police To Teach His Son A Lesson – Police Kill Son”
“Who’s to Blame for Battlefield America? Is It Militarized Police or the Militarized Culture?”
By John W. Whitehead
November 11, 2013
“In Iowa, police shot a teenager who had stolen his father’s work truck in a fit of anger and led cops on a wild car chase that ended on a college campus. When 19-year-old Tyler Comstock refused orders to turn off the car despite having stopped, revving the engine instead, police officer Adam McPherson fired six shots into the truck, two of which hit Comstock. Members of the community are demanding to know why less lethal force was not used, especially after a police dispatcher suggested the officers call off the chase.
And then there was the incident involving 13-year-old Andy Lopez, who was shot dead after two sheriff’s deputies saw him carrying a toy BB gun in public. Lopez was about 20 feet away from the deputies, his back turned to them, when the officers took cover behind their car and ordered him to drop the “weapon.” When Lopez turned around, toy gun in his hand, one of the officers—Erick Gelhaus, a 24-year veteran of the force—shot him seven times. A field training officer for new recruits and a firing range instructor, Gelhaus seems to subscribe to the philosophy that an officer should ensure their own safety at all costs. As Gelhaus wrote in a 2008 article for S.W.A.T. magazine:
Today is the day you may need to kill someone in order to go home. If you cannot turn on the “mean gene” for yourself, who will? If you find yourself in an ambush, in the kill zone, you need to turn on that mean gene. Taking some kind of action – any kind of action – is critical. If you shut down (physically, psychologically, or both) and stay in the kill zone, bad things will happen to you. You must take some kind of action.
While some critics are keen to paint these officers as bad cops hyped up on the power of their badge, I don’t subscribe to the bad cop theory. The problem, as I explain in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, is far more pervasive, arising as it does out of America’s obsession with war and all things war-related, which is reflected in the fact that we spend more than 20% of the nation’s budget on the military, not including what we spend on our endless wars abroad. The U.S. also makes up nearly 80% of the global arms exports market, rendering us both the world’s largest manufacturer and consumer of war.”
I’m sorry to say this, but from start to sorry conclusion, this is just a parade of very stupid people.
Regardless there are less drastic measures that could be taken…..
The adrenaline response by police is only half of the equation. The son, already angry, was influenced equally by hormones and adrenaline… not to mention nicotine deprivation.
The non-fatal response would be to pull-over. The fatal response was to strike police cars – “assault” as Otteray Scribe pointed-out.
More to the point, was his “driving to endanger”, evident from the initiation of the dashcam video. From the moment the light turned green, the vehicle operator made the decision to not be apprehended.
Remember, this is the cell phone era, and no doubt words were had by father and son. I’ve heard this before, when the son was a probationer, prohibited from associating with drugs and alcohol.
“Get back here or I call the cops.”
“Yeah? Go ahead. I’ll tell them to go f*-off too. I do what I want.”
My initial read of this story (the truck was stuck and no danger to officers) is refuted by the dashcam. The REASON the truck was stuck, was it attempted to strike the (videoing) police car once again, and apparently hit a tree instead.
I put this on teen angst, hormones, and the propensity for wrong choices to be celebrated in teen society.
“You HATE ME.”
“I’d RATHER DIE than put-up with your crap any longer.”
“You cops aren’t that tough, COME ON… you think you can take me?”
The latter, often has a drug involvement, which given my era, meant marijuana laced with PCP (and I don’t mean your primary care physician).
These days, meth and salts. Though I hear “dust” is making a return.
To the police:
Yes, we’re noticing a “press for results” and demand for immediate compliance. Tactics which worked “so well” in Los Angeles as-to cause rioting.
There’s the national predisposition to view everyone, including retired officers as “the next Timothy McVey”. The approved response?
Main Street, Ames is Main Street, Fallujah.
If America riots (as did LA) would the ‘acceptable’ response be:
A) the declaration of martial law, and the deployment of the military?
Or would our civilian administrators recognize the long-term effects of the USA PATRIOT Act, and NDAA…
My bet is on plan A, avoiding plan B, as that would just lead “to anarchy”.
Speaking of shooting out tires. Years ago, an officer I know tried to stop a fleeing peeping tom by shooting at his left rear tire as the guy was trying to make his getaway. He hit the tire all right, but the round fragmented on the rim of the wheel, and part of it ricocheted back, hitting him squarely in his nose. An inch or so either side and he would have lost an eye. The guy got only a short distance before our guy caught up with him and arrested him. Turned out to be a local college professor.
The nose has a lot of blood vessels. Scared the booking officer when the arresting officer walked in with his face and shirt front covered with blood. The bullet fragment was still embedded in his nose.
OS It makes sense when you think about shooting out tires, since they are made of heavy grade steel, and any bullet hitting the rim will not be absorbed by it. In fact, given the materials of construction and shape, it will most definitely bounce off, around and any which way.
Sorry to hear about your daughters friend getting shot so horribly.
You mention that you are “a 66 year old doctor.” With a terminal degree, you should know that anecdotes do not make data. Stories such as you mention, and even this account of the Iowa shooting are not statistics. No more than stories of botched surgeries means that all surgeons are dangerous quacks.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, there are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States. About 12 percent of those are female. If all incidents such as the one shown in stories like this are added up, the number hardly registers as a very small fraction of one percent of the total number of personnel.
A total of 1,539 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 57 hours or 154 per year. There were 120 law enforcement officers killed in 2012. Twelve of the officers were killed in 2012 were female.
The first uniformed officer to be killed in the line of duty in 2013 was Mayra Ramirez. She died on Jan. 10. Her partner, Officer Eliezer Colon-Claussells died of his injuries the next day, on Jan. 11.
The most recent to die in the line of duty this year was on November 4, when Officer Robert Libke of Oregon City, Oregon was shot and killed in an ambush after arriving on the scene of a house fire.
Those were just the deaths. Injured or wounded officers are another statistic. Some of these are injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents while responding to calls: 15,483 injuries per year on average over the past ten years. In 2012, there were 14,884 injuries or wounding.
You want an anecdote close to home for us? In 2008 Deputy Sheriff Stephanie Simpson was was shot in the face at close range by a guy with a high powered deer rifle. It was a .308 round, which almost tore her head off. She was responding to a call to assist with a dispute between neighbors. Stephanie did not die, but has had many surgeries. She told my daughter she is still facing more surgery. This is the same sheriff’s department where my own daughter was a sworn officer until just recently.
Steph is one of those listed in the non-fatal “injuries” statistic.
Dredd: or with small aircraft that make hardly any sound.
I think this was a case of a man (the police officer) madder than hell, and wanting to make the suspect pay for it. Yes, ramming a police car is assaulting an officer. I get it. Considering that the chase went through the town and ISU campus, there was a high risk to pedestrians. A better solution would have been to break off the hot pursuit and alert sister agencies (county and state) to be on the lookout for the truck. Once the driver got out of town (and Ames is rather small) a high speed chase would have been much less risky. Quite aside from the question of justifiable use of lethal force, the reaction of the cop, and by extension the Ames PD, put the entire community at risk.
AY: “So pp….. When was the driver shot? Most departments have rules/policies against high speed chases in residential neighborhoods…..”
The road where the chase began was zoned as Government. He turned right onto Beach Ave. where the west (left) side of the road is primarily listed as Low Density residential and the east (right) side of the road is government. The chase continued onto Government zoned property.
“It is forbidden to kill therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” -Voltaire
I remember my father letting my brother sit in jail overnight for having beer in the car when he was a teenager. I cannot imagine that happening today and expecting a good outcome. (I think it was an awful thing for him to do then but at least it was just cause it seemed awful, not because you had to fear the police) How terribly sad.
AY How about shooting the tires….
There is the case in Texas where a local cop in Rock Springs, by the name of Hernandez was patrolling with his wife in the car at night. He saw a van run a light, turned on his lights, and the van stopped. He does the normal thing as walks up to the drivers side door to ask for the usual. As he starts to talk to the driver, he turns into Hernandez, and takes off in the van trying to knock him down. The cop pulls his pistol, and opens fire at the tires, and succeeds in disabling the van which runs off the road. At that point all the doors open and a large number of people bail out, except for one woman. Turns out the van was being used to get illegals into the country and the driver was a coyote.
The woman was hit by a bullet fragment which hit her in the mouth and knocked out a tooth. She was arrested, and taken to the hospital. The local cops investigate and call in Texas DPS to look at the shooting. They conclude that the shooting was justified. The US attorney in San Antonio, then intervened since they were illegals, and charges Hernandez, wins a conviction, and he goes to Federal prison for a number of years.
The woman who was an illegal who lived in Austin, sued and won a big judgment, and got her legal residence. She refused to tell officials who the driver was, or co-operate in any fashion with law enforcement other than to convict the cop. That is what happens when you shoot at the tires.
The 1:35 min mark they did high fives.
Officers hunted a terrified dog and celebrated after killing it while hiding. They escaped prosecution as no court would hear it until the statute ran. The owners won in civil court. So they don’t enjoy using deadly force?
This video is truncated. They officers planned on shooting the dog from the minute they rolled up. ( caught on dashcam )
Which is why I never call the police on my slightly unhinged and mentally challenged young neighbor; I do not want to be the cause of his death. I certainly don’t think he would learn any “lesson” at their hands.
to Ottery Scribe: your statement “if you think officers who use deadly force somehow get a kick out of it—-the opposite is true—–we’re getting better at weeding those out.” Surely you are unfortunately joking. Just see the number of times police bust into a home and if there is a dog in the room the first thing they do is shoot the dog even if it is an old arthritic hound lying on the couch. This is without any attempt to determine is the dog is a threat. Deadly force is deadly force, human or dog. Does the cop get a thrill out of it? I’ll bet damn well he/she does after all they just got to show who has the tin badge authority and you better cower to them or the next bullet may come your way and the Blue Curtain will protect the cop. Check the associated video online that shows the two Florida police officers (one man and one woman) shooting and killing the man that tried to get away form them. They shot him as he was running away from them. Does that indicate they were in immediate fear for their lives? If the cops think so, they are piss poor officers who possibly “get a kick out of using deadly force” as you said is not the case. I am a 66 years doctor old and years ago I had more respect for the police. Things have changed a lot. I have very little respect for them currently.
So pp….. When was the driver shot? Most departments have rules/policies against high speed chases in residential neighborhoods…..
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