Never Call the Cops Unless You Want Someone Killed: Iowa Man Reports Truck His Teen Son Took as Stolen, Police Kill Teen Son [UPDATED with Link to Dashboard Cam Video]

Never, never call the cops unless you are ready for the situation to end with someone shot to death: a bitter lesson learned by James Comstock, whose teen son Tyler was shot to death Monday on the campus of Iowa State University.

The details from Des Moines Register:

James Comstock refused to buy a pack of cigarettes for his 19-year-old son, Tyler, and now he’s planning his son’s funeral.

Des Moines RegisterDes Moines Register

“He took off with my truck. I call the police, and they kill him,” James Comstock told The Des Moines Register on Tuesday. “It was over a damn pack of cigarettes. I wouldn’t buy him none.

“And I lose my son for that.”

Comstock said he’s outraged police shot and killed his son Monday morning on Iowa State University’s campus.

Police began pursuing Tyler Comstock of Boone after his father reported the truck stolen. The truck belonged to a lawn care company.

Ames Police Officer Adam McPherson pursued Comstock into the heart of ISU’s campus. During the chase, Comstock rammed McPherson’s car. The truck eventually stopped, but Comstock revved the engine and refused orders to turn it off.

McPherson fired six shots into the truck. Comstock died from two gunshot wounds, according to the Iowa state medical examiner’s office.

James Comstock said his son was not carrying a weapon.

During the chase, an unidentified Ames police staffer twice suggested that police back off their pursuit, according to dispatch audio obtained by the Register through a third-party service. Audio: Listen to dispatchers and officers during the pursuit

The audio linked to above is illuminating; the police knew from their own audio that it was a family dispute leading to a kid grabbing dad's truck, not a car theft desperado on the loose.

Undoubtedly, a more sensible person would not have done what Comstock did -- assuming the officer's story is true, he does say on police audio that Comstock "backed up into my vehicle."

A voice of reason on the police channel points out, hey, if Comstock is being that reckless in regard to police attempts to stop him, maybe the safest thing to do is back off. "We know the suspect," the voice points out. "We can probably back it off."

Regardless, the use of lethal force on someone for cop-defiance and traffic violations should, to put it mildly, happen less often.

UPDATE: Dashcam video of the chase; showing Comstock ramming a cop car and running a red light and speeding, then going offroad and ramming a cop car again. Another cop car rams him a lot, and then the shooting alas happens in the last moment off camera, so what threat Comstock actually presented to officer or citizen life at the time the trigger was pulled still not clear. [Hat tip to Jake "Grey Ghost" on that footage link.]

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  • The Late P Brooks||

    NEVER BACK DOWN. ESCALATE ESCALATE ESCALATE KILL.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Exactly

  • Agammamon||

    Had a discussion with a friend of mine, guard at a small local (private-run) prison here about some of the problems he has with newer guards and I think I've identified a major flaw in law-enforcement training technics - these guys are trained 'military-style'.

    Meaning that there's a lot of yelling and stress and instructor/student relationships are based on dominance and unquestioning compliance with orders. Couple that with receiving absolutely no training in *de-escalation*. They get lots of training on the force continuum, and the appropriate level of violence to use in response to a suspect but none in how to *prevent* or limit the aggression in the first place.

    As such, a lot of the guard-prisoner interactions involve yelling, coercion, attempts at intimidation to compel obedience when a quiet word or two, a little patience, and a thick skin would work better. These prisoners aren't stupid - they know they aren't going anywhere and resistance is futile, but if you get in their faces normal human response is going to be to become uncooperative.

  • Juice||

    That's what solitary is for.

  • Jerryskids||

    Aw, c'mon. It's a college town, how many chances are the cops going to have to kill humans instead of puppy dogs? You just don't want the cops to have any fun.

  • Capt. Rimmer||

    If that was my son I would kill that cop.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    And then myself.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    don't kill yourself. I might vote to acquit because of the totality of circs.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    You would never get on that jury. But that's not the point.

  • Capt. Rimmer||

    A manslaughter argument could be made that could reduce the offense from 1st degree murder to a lesser grade of murder. Maybe you'd only get a couple decades in prison depending on the state law.

    That'd be the argument anyway.

  • R C Dean||

    For the cop, or for the father who kills the cop?

  • Restoras||

    Not too mention that if I was on the jury I might go for nullification.

  • Zeb||

    Then I hope you only have one child.

  • what_tha||

    I've read alot of dumb comments here but this one pissed me off. The only person at fault here is this kid who was using that truck as a weapon. You didn't see him run a busy intersection with no regard for innocent ppl or ramming the truck into police cars. Give me a break. They couldn't BACK OFF BCUS THIS KID WAS A DANGER TO OTHER PPL. ALSO NOT THE DADS FAULT HE DID WHAT HE WAS SUPPOSE TO WHEN A PERSON TAKES HIS WORK WORK WORK TRUCK. FEEL BAD FOR THE DAD BUT ITS NOT HIS FAULT AT SOME POINT HE HAS TO RECOGNIZE THAT THIS KID WAS OUT OF CONTROL.

  • what_tha||

    I've read alot of dumb comments here but this one pissed me off. The only person at fault here is this kid who was using that truck as a weapon. You didn't see him run a busy intersection with no regard for innocent ppl or ramming the truck into police cars. Give me a break. They couldn't BACK OFF BCUS THIS KID WAS A DANGER TO OTHER PPL. ALSO NOT THE DADS FAULT HE DID WHAT HE WAS SUPPOSE TO WHEN A PERSON TAKES HIS WORK WORK WORK TRUCK. FEEL BAD FOR THE DAD BUT ITS NOT HIS FAULT AT SOME POINT HE HAS TO RECOGNIZE THAT THIS KID WAS OUT OF CONTROL.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Geez, if you didn't pick up a pack of squares, what's the big deal with him running to the gas station?

  • BuSab Agent||

    The father was probably under the impression that smoking would kill his son.

  • ||

    +Peter Stuyvesant 25 pack.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    During the chase, an unidentified Ames police staffer twice suggested that police back off their pursuit, according to dispatch audio obtained by the Register through a third-party service.

    My guess is the wording of "suggested" is meant to cover the officer's ass. Even if the station dispatch had "ordered" the officer to back down, my guess is that they would just pretend the officer's radio didn't pick it up.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    From the transcript?:

    We don't need you to do that.

    Ok.

  • ||

    +Snapple

  • John||

    The kid was really stupid. But that is why we train cops, to deal with stupid people without killing them. I am starting wonder if there isn't some kind of a meth problem among LEOs. These incidents always involved a cop so hyped up he doesn't seem to be able to think or react in any intelligent way.

    The party line is that they want to shoot people. But that is not the entire story. This stuff happens way too much, but there are still plenty of times they don't shoot people. It is still the exception. The question is what about these incidents made them an except. What caused that cop to be so hyped up on adrenaline. And I am actually familiar with LEO use of force training. They are not trained or told to shoot people in this situation.

    Not to be flippant, but this guy was not following his training. The problem seems to be that we have apparently stopped training cops to be calm during a crisis. This guy was completely hyped up on adrenaline and forgot all of his training. You can tell that by the fact that he cacked off six rounds. That is not aimed fire. That is panicked fire. Somehow we have created an LEO culture where these guys go to work every day in a state of paranoid anxiety such that when confronted with a crisis a good number of them snap and just start shooting.

  • Capt. Rimmer||

    If there were ever any consequences to killing people these govt thugs would possibly think twice about committing these types of murders.

  • Kuch||

    Sorry, but your comments demonstrate you know nothing about LEO use of force. Please stop pretending you are able to determine a person's adrenaline level or the difference between controlled and panicked fire without ever seeing either.

  • John||

    Sorry, but I have probably forgotten more about the subject than you know. And the base concept of use of force is meeting force with equal force. Force isn't used unless it is reasonable and necessary for the safety of the officer or to subdue the suspect. There is a continuum of force. Deadly force is at the high end of that is only used when the officer is presented with the threat of deadly force himself.

    In this case, the kid revving the engine of a wrecked car is not deadly force. There is no way that cop could have reasonably concluded he was under the threat of deadly force in these circumstances. If the car starts moving and coming at him? Sure. But sitting there, no way. You can't shoot the kid because he won't follow orders. You can only shoot him because he is using or about to use deadly force himself. No one who has been through any kind of use of force training could look at this situation and conclude shooting was the right thing to do.

    Sorry, but you are an idiot. I wouldn't use such harsh words except that you tried to be smug when you in fact don't know the law apparently beyond what you saw on TV.

    If you are an LEO, I advise you to talk to your legal counsel and get some remedial training on use of force. Right now, you are a danger to the public and the reputation and treasury of your employer.

  • sarcasmic||

    You can't shoot the kid because he won't follow orders.

    Except in practice that's exactly what happens. Over and over and over.

  • John||

    Which goes back to my point that cops seem to be unable to follow their training when put under any kind of stress.

  • sarcasmic||

    Why should they? They face no consequences for their actions.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Training might not focus on it - but certainly policies and procedures and LEO's talk a lot about the number one rule: get home safely.

    Better to be judged by 12, than carried by 6... etc/etc/etc.

    Add that to what others have said - no punishment for this behavior and I think the results we're seeing are obvious.

    IMHO it was a very bad day by the average citizen the second LEO's stopped making their first priority the safety of the citizenry, and instead made it the safety of themselves (this is why swat teams serve warrants at 3 AM for non-violent offenses after all).

  • Super Hans||

    They are doing *EXACTLY* what they've been trained to do.

    Never back down, compliance at any cost.

  • Zeb||

    While I find it completely unacceptable that it happens at all, police shooting people for no good reason really still is the exception. But the police culture does seem to be moving in the direction of it becoming more of the rule. Still, I think it is important to keep a little perspective. The vast majority of police never shoot anyone.

  • ||

    That's why I don't see much value in these anecdotes. I think Radley's militarization points are far more than anecdotal. But the over-use of deadly force? I'd need to see more before I was to believe that it's simply a numbers game (lots of cops, lots of guns, shit's gonna happen).

  • optimusratiostultum||

    not neccesarily people with concealed carry permits have been found to be less likely to wrongfully kill people despite the fact that there are far more concealed carry permit holders out there both per capita and gross than police of all stripes.

    This is from John Lott's research (I know a lot of it is challenged by the left but not this part)

  • sarcasmic||

    There was a good reason. Kid didn't do as he was told. That's all it takes these days.

  • R C Dean||

    Six point blank rounds at a stationary target?

    Probably panic fire. The only that makes me suggest even a little is that he didn't empty his clipazine.

  • rts||

    Maybe he still carries a revolver.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Maybe he still carries a revolver.

    There are a few, at least in Houston, that I've seen still do. Surprises me a bit, but hey, if that's what they're comfortable with, why not? You also can't argue much with the effectiveness of .357 Magnum.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I think the argument is they never jam - though that argument seems to be (correctly) going away.

    I think because demographically we're getting away from those *so old they still believe a revolver is better due simply to its inability to jam versus alternate weapons utilizing magazines.

    *Most of those who still seem to believe revolvers superior due to non-jamming - also used them as children - and as we move forward in time, even kids who do get exposed to pistols as children will see more clip-fed weapons than revolvers.

    Disclaimer: I'm not much younger than those "so old"

  • optimusratiostultum||

    revolvers are (generally) more accurate as single action than typical duty semi's.

    That and comfort is probably the biggest factor in aim. I can put somone's eyes out at 25m with my SR22 cuz it fits my hand perfectly. Couldn't hit a barn from the inside with a .45.

  • Super Hans||

    It's not panic fire. They are trained to keep shooting, because a single shot is often too inaccurate.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    No they are not

    No one in their right mind would ever suggest compensating for inaccuracy by shooting a bunch more. Every succesive shot degrades accuracy due to recoil and jerking the trigger (you can't take time to properly sqeeze it and prevent "slapping" with rapid fire)

    Rapid fire is only for area targets or suppresive fire. Point targets should only be engaged with at most a controlled pair (and one to the head if they appear to be wearing body armor)

  • AlmightyJB||

    They go to bed every night dreaming about the chance to shoot someone.

  • RBS||

    Here in SC the police basic training has become a lot more like basic infantry training. Hell, since the Academy is in Columbia they'll probably just start sending them to Fort Jackson. Anyway, my point is I don't think they are spending as much time on diffusing these situations.

  • RBS||

    Also, most non psychopaths are weeded out during the initial hiring process.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    one of my former roomates was going to the local police academy. He always came home talking about how cool his "militarized" training was and asking me how it compared to what I did in the army (It was way to similar for my liking).

    I think it is downright awful how city pd's act and operate like they are in Baghdad or Korengal

    And by the way MP's are the worst I personally went on a mission with some MP's from Jackson. They spent the entire time bragging about how they screwed with people doing nothing wrong at all.

  • robc||

    I stand behind my suggestion that cops not be allowed to carry firearms at all.

    Ditto for tasers.

    Year the number of club beatings would go up, but I think its an acceptable tradeoff.

  • RBS||

    I get your point but is coma then death better than just straight death?

  • robc||

    I figure the number of coma/death cases will be much lower than the shooting/death cases or even taser/death cases.

  • RBS||

    You're probably right. I'd imagine being forced to physically engage someone would deter a lot since most of these cases seem to involve officers panicking then shooting.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    While I tend to agree many LEOs likely shouldn't be carrying firearms, I'm not sure they are all that worried about clubbing people....

    Sure, most of us are - but most of us see the close physical process (correctly) as more personal/difficult, but LEOs seem to routinely lay hands on others as part of their jobs during arrests of what have you - so I don't think the barrier is there for those used to engaging in direct physical contact.

    Though again - I do agree with the suggestion and they can have the clubs for safety - just not sure it would reduce police abusing the public (though likely reduce deaths).

  • johnl||

    Beating someone with a stick takes energy. There is a natural pause when you breathe that can be the opening to just stop.

  • Super Hans||

    That's why you take turns.

  • John||

    I have a hard time arguing with you on that. How many times do they actually need their weapons? Not very often. Most of the time a knight stick will do the trick. I might let them have tazers. Tazer deaths do happen but not that often.

    At this point, they seem be untrainable.

  • sarcasmic||

    They need their pistols so they can press the barrel to the head of anyone who doesn't show sufficient respect. They are more for intimidation than anything else.

  • Zeb||

    Maybe pepper spray.

  • Zeb||

    There really is very little reason for regular street cops on patrol to carry guns. There will always be situations where they would need to be armed, but I think you will almost always know what those are beforehand.

  • np||

    The only fool-proof, no compromise solution is to remove immunity and apply Hammurabic principle, or the weregild.

    Let them shoot. And in turn, if they were wrong, let them be shot.

    Therefore, all shots will be inherently speculative. Each cop will be carefully evaluating the situation, weighing the probabilities of being right or wrong.

  • Super Hans||

    Doubt that would have helped the poor kid in this situation.

  • Restoras||

    With respect Joh, but how do you actually know what training this cop had? According to LEOs that I know, they do not take any actual training in the use of firearms after going to cop school, outside of a once per year certification that doesn't actually include proficiency. Isn't it possible the the training this cop received was vastly different than what other cops might receive? Given the rapidly rising pension costs for these clowns isn't it possible that moeny earmarked for training gets diverted to other cost centers?

  • John||

    I can't believe their liability insurer would not require use of force training every year. If you don't have that kind of training, you are setting yourself up for huge liability.

  • Restoras||

    I am just relaying what my BiL, a sergeant in a major metropolitan PD, tells me.

    He also tells me that 90% of the cops he works with are complete dirtbags and should be avoided at all costs.

    Besides, given the lack of any repercussions whatsoever for these incidents, much less severe financial ones there doesn't seem to be much risk from the perspective of an insurance carrier.

  • John||

    There is risk because while the cop may get off free, the employer doesn't when the civil rights and wrongful use of force law suits start rolling in.

    Maybe they don't train them or do it once and count it as good. But at the federal level they get it once a year. But that of course doesn't mean they listen to it.

  • Restoras||

    Federal level perhaps but in this instance it is a much smaller entity. I highly doubt that there is the same rigor or proficiency requirements, otherwise they wouldn't actaully have any cops.

  • Agammamon||

    You know what's weird? In the *military* (Navy) I got use of force training *at least* once a year, and my job required me to carry a firearm just about never (for around 4 hours every 6 days on average).

  • Michael S. Langston||

    & Geneva convention stuff - covering the fact that killing an unarmed person is still a crime even in war (though it's usually defined as an unarmed prisoner - this would certainly be a fair shoot in war - terms are different there of course... or at least should be).

    But agree with Restoras - the lower the level of government, the less money they spend on everything. Even in stuff like information sharing openly on the internet - what the feds do share, they share it all - many states would prefer it, but still on old systems and don't have the money/infrastructure to computerize records.

    If you know people for instance that have gone to "jail" and know they are going to "prison" - they want to go asap. Food and everything is much better under state or fed than it ever will be under county/city (and of course jails have the additional issue of housing people simply awaiting trial, the drunk tank, etc).

  • Steve G||

    This is a society wide problem. People, from cops to bullied teenagers, are so incapable of dealing with violence/anger/anxiety, when it happens, they lose control of themselves.

    Tucker Max, someone who's made a career out of being a douche, actually makes some insightful points about the value of combative sports in teaching people to remain calm during 'violence'. It's become a lost skill as we've worked to insulate our kids from all things dangerous.

    http://vimeo.com/28386624

  • John||

    That is a good point.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I'm not a LEO, nor a member of the criminal justice industry. My 2 cents though is that cops get the message in training these days---by dashcam footage of cops that get killed, Tuellar drills, etc...---that any resistance by the suspect might become lethal. Therefore any hesitation to use force by the cop might end up with him getting killed. The risk of which is a non-starter for them.

    You see enough cases of these in the media where the cop sees something shiny, or weapon like, and immediately goes right to "dump mag into center-mass until the guy stops moving," that I think it's an instinctive reaction beaten into them via their training. This is separate from instances where one of them shoots, and all of them decide they need to join in. All of which is reinforced by the lack of consequences they see their colleagues suffer after those colleagues are involved in a shooting.

    As to the six rounds thing, aren't they trained now to basically run the gun until the guy goes down, and maybe not stop even then? And not give too much of a shit for what else is down range, judging by thinks like the New York Empire State building shooter. I'm kinda surprised the cop stopped at six, to be frank.

    Agree with your comment on the paranoid anxiety.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Jeez, look at the Santa Rosa kid that got blasted because he had an Airsoft AK. From the moment the cops called in "dude with a rifle" to the cop (and contributor to things like "SWAT Magazine') putting rounds downrange was something like seven seconds. His partner was still putting the car in park when the cop started shooting. While the police claimed the kid turned towards them with the rifle in one hand, no one is claiming that the kid shouldered it, pointed it, or did anything indicating that the kid was going to use the very realistic looking AK on the cops. It was just a case of, "Gun. Guy's not immediately obeying, he's blading towards me. Shoot."

    Paranoid anxiety. Letting default procedures substitute for rational thinking. And not realizing that sometimes, the job requires that they put themselves at risk of violent death, rather than strike first at a perceived threat.

  • Restoras||

    Not to mention it wasn't a rifle but instead was a toy.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Not to mention it wasn't a rifle but instead was a toy.

    I'm not hammering the Santa Rosa cops for that. I would have thought it was a real AK, despite the incongruity of a kid rolling around with one in plain view. They look too damned realistic, especially with the red tip broken off (like the kid's toy had.) Had the kid shouldered the 'rifle' like he was going to shoot, I'd see no problem with shooting him.

    I look at it as, if I were a homeowner, watching some kid/dude in a hoodie with an AK walking through the vacant lot across the street, and I step outside and call out to him; if he turns towards me and I blast him, I'm going to jail. So why shouldn't the cop?

    Christ, my dad growing up went walking through vacant lots all of the time with a surplus .30-06 and no one thought anything of it. He didn't go pointing it at anyone, but I haven't seen a witness claim that the kid did either.

  • Restoras||

    Sorry but I still don't buy it. The kid was innocent until proven guilty. If that means, as a cop, you have to get shot at before discovering that someone is pointing a real gun at you then tough shit.

    Don't want to get shot at? Don't be a cop.

  • John||

    Paranoid anxiety. Letting default procedures substitute for rational thinking. And not realizing that sometimes, the job requires that they put themselves at risk of violent death, rather than strike first at a perceived threat.

    Exactly. My action will always beat your reaction. The reason police work can be risky is that they have to take the risk of the suspects first action being deadly.

    For whatever reason cops have decided they don't want to take that risk and thus are acting to prevent the first action and killing a lot of innocent people as a result.

    It is a disgusting change in mindset from viewing law enforcement as a noble profession that requires putting public safety above ones own life to viewing law enforcement as just another job where your life is more important than everyone else' and if killing a few innocent people is the price of saving even one cop's life, so be it. It makes law enforcement a repulsive profession.

  • Restoras||

    It makes law enforcement a repulsive profession

    Sadly and unfortunately.

  • sarcasmic||

    Officer safety!

  • Gray Ghost||

    Was it P. Brooks who wrote here that, 'the police are a band of brothers, united against a common enemy, and that enemy is us.'?

    It stuck with me. When the cops here have looser ROE than soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan do/did, we have a serious problem.

  • sarcasmic||

    All they've got to do is say those magical words "I was in fear for my life" and they can do anything they damn well please.

  • Rrabbit||

    The reason police work can be risky is that they have to take the risk of the suspects first action being deadly.

    Isn't that risk rather tiny given how much bullet proof body armor many cops are wearing these days?

  • Restoras||

    You see enough cases of these in the media where the cop sees something shiny, or weapon like, and immediately goes right to "dump mag into center-mass until the guy stops moving,"

    Isn't this essentailly what happened to Amadou Diallo?

    The officers claimed they loudly identified themselves as NYPD officers and that Diallo ran up the outside steps toward his apartment house doorway at their approach, ignoring their orders to stop and "show his hands". The porch lightbulb was out and Diallo was backlit by the inside vestibule light, showing only a silhouette. Diallo then reached into his jacket and withdrew his wallet. Seeing the suspect holding a small square object, Carroll yelled "Gun!" to alert his colleagues. Mistakenly believing Diallo had aimed a gun at them at close range, the officers opened fire on Diallo. During the shooting, lead officer McMellon tripped backward off the front stairs, causing the other officers to believe he had been shot. The four officers fired 41 shots, more than half of which went astray as Diallo was hit 19 times.
  • Gray Ghost||

    Basically. The pisser is, it's not really a bad idea if you have to shoot someone with a handgun. Handguns are a whole lot less effective than rifles/shotguns and someone shot with one can still do quite a bit of harm before they eventually go down. So you shoot them repeatedly until they drop or are otherwise stopped. Which can take the entire magazine.

    Then again, you can have a situation like the recent Reading, PA armed citizen shooting incident, where CCW guy sees two armed robbers leaving a convenience store. He tells them to stop and wait for the cops, they take umbrage and try to draw, and CCW guy drops both of them. From the photo I saw, pretty much right there. Surprising, for two separate people shot with a handgun to be stopped in less than three feet.

  • Super Hans||

    I think you're right.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A great deal of police officers these days are either poorly trained and/or ill-suited to be law enforcement officials. Avoid interaction with these ticking time bombs whenever possible. They should have public service announcements to that effect.

  • DougBarbieri||

    This is murder. Will the cops who murdered this boy stand trial like anyone else without a badge doing that would?

  • Super Hans||

    Of course not. They'll be suspended, with pay, and the eventual outcome will be that the car is considered a "lethal weapon", thus the officers were acting in "self defense".

  • Kuch||

    The kid rammed the cop's car? Bad choice, which makes me wonder who else he would have ran into if he felt the need existed.

    This dad might be upset that his son, who only wanted a pack of cigarettes, committed felony theft and then attempted aggravated assault of a public servant, and ultimately got killed for it, but this situation probably would have played out the same in almost any state.

    Rule #1: When driving a stolen vehicle, stop when lights and sirens come on.

  • Fluffy||

    The kid didn't commit felony theft. The dad falsely reported that the kid committed felony theft.

    Personally, I hope the cops here get shot and that people heckle their families when they get their disgusting "hero funeral" with a billion cops stealing overtime to attend.

  • R C Dean||

    The kid rammed the cop's car?

    Rammed is an awfully strong word. I'd like to see a pic of the allegedly rammed porkmobile before I used it, myself.

  • JW||

    Here's a pic of the truck.

    Looks like somone rammed him.

  • JW||

    I want to know where the cop was in relation to the truck. Considering that the front end of the truck is resting on trees, it's hard to see how he was any threat, unless the cop was standing directly behind the truck and it was in reverse.

    To which I would say, "Don't stand there, you might get hurt."

  • R C Dean||

    this situation probably would have played out the same in almost any state.

    Probably so, and for some reason you think that it makes it OK.

    "One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic." Right, comrade?

  • Paul.||

    To the cops, one death is just a statistic.

  • John||

    Okay, he rammed his car. When he was doing that, deadly force might have been justified. But the threat of deadly force passed once the car stopped moving. The existence of the deadly force one moment doesn't give the cop a free pass to shoot the guy for the rest of the event. If for whatever reason the suspect loses the ability or stops presenting such threat, the cop's justification to use deadly force in return ends.

    Here, the car was wrecked and not moving. Reeving the engine of an immobile care is not a threat of deadly force. The cop there fore had no right to shoot.

    The bottom line is the cop didn't have the balls to do his job and walk up and pull the kid out of the car. So instead, he shot the kid. That is really what we have here. A cop who doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to do his job. Any idiot can just walk around and shoot people. It takes a bit more to be a proper LEO. And this clown didn't have it.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Is it this:

    "The bottom line is the cop didn't have the balls to do his job and walk up and pull the kid out of the car. So instead, he shot the kid."

    Or this:

    "This guy was completely hyped up on adrenaline and forgot all of his training."

    Doesn't seem like it could be both. One sounds like conscious abdication of duty and the other sounds like irrational panic.

  • John||

    It could be both. His lack of courage is what caused his irrational panic which in turn lead to his abdication of duty.

  • Gray Ghost||

    The kid rammed the cop's car?

    What I've read elsewhere, no idea if it's true or not, is that the kid backed the truck + trailer up suddenly to try and hit the cop car's front end, and thereby cause the airbags to pop. Of course, the cop misjudging the closure rate and slamming into the back of the trailer would look rather similar. Dashcam footage would help. Pictures I've seen of the kid's truck show pretty serious damage to the left side, like the cop t-boned him. I have not seen any pictures indicating any damage to any of the police cars.

    Regardless, the truck's at a stop, the kid's hands are visible, the cop is perpendicular to the truck (guessing): I'm not seeing the imminent threat necessitating deadly force. Perhaps there was one? Breaking the window and OC'ing/Tasing the dumbshit, sure. If the kid gets the truck rolling, and it's headed for someone, sure, blast away, I guess, but the truck was stopped.

  • ||

    Cop probably tried to PIT him and later said the kid tried to run him over. Like when a cop punches someone and says the person came at him with their head.

  • JW||

    Pictures I've seen of the kid's truck show pretty serious damage to the left side, like the cop t-boned him. I have not seen any pictures indicating any damage to any of the police cars.

    STOP RESISTING.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Somehow we have created an LEO culture where these guys go to work every day in a state of paranoid anxiety such that when confronted with a crisis a good number of them snap and just start shooting.

    IT'S A FUCKIN WAR OUT THERE!

    If you let your guard down for an instant, it'll be like the O K Corral, and you don't want to be the one who won't be home for dinner.

  • Restoras||

    I think it has more to do with this idiotic doctine of "officer safety". It has been taken to the level of trumping the rights of the public that these assholes pretend to be serving.

    Sure, take reasonable precautions to ensure you go home at night. But being a cop is sometimes dangerous and may include taking a bullet in service of the public.

    Don't like it? Don't be a cop.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    ^^Fucking exactly this.

  • JW||

    If you do want a truly dangerous job, try farming or fishing.

    Fucking pants-shitting cowards.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Rule #1: When driving a stolen vehicle, stop when lights and sirens come on.

    That's so cute. Lick those boots, boy, lick 'em. Lick 'em clean. Lick 'em shiny.

  • Kuch||

    Well, you can try ramming the cop car and see how far that gets you. Maybe there is a story around here to enlighten you...

  • JW||

    STOP RESISTING.

  • Fluffy||

    “And I lose my son for that.”

    No. You lost your son because you filed a false 911 report about him.

    If you now acknowledge that the car wasn't really stolen, your asshole "I'ma gonna show that damn kid!" 911 call killed him. Congratulations, dumbass.

  • Mike M.||

    I agree that he shouldn't have done that, but filing a false report hardly justifies an execution.

  • robc||

    Especially as the person executed wasnt the one filing the false report.

  • R C Dean||

    I agree that the father shouldn't be executed for filing a false report. I don't see anyone suggesting otherwise, so I'm not sure where your comment is coming from.

  • Restoras||

    And I always thought you had to be convicted in court before being executed.

  • John||

    Yeah. The dad is a dumb ass. Don't call 911 to make a point with your kid. That is just moronic. Even if the cops had done the right thing here, the dad would be guilty of wasting the police' time. We have a police department to deal with crime, not settle your domestic disputes dipshit.

  • AlmightyJB||

    How about we don't allow cops to have guns. Only civilians.

  • robc||

    See above. I support this.

  • West Texas||

    You guys, the police are what separate us from anarchy. They are always right. If you disagree with the police you are an anarchist terrorist who deserves to be shot. Thomas Hobbes told me so.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Failure to immediately obey is an attempt to deny the officer's very existence. Thus, attempted murder.

    Good shoot.

  • ||

    He's 19, why can't he buy his own cigs?

  • UnCivilServant||

    No job, no cash probably.

  • TreII28||

    "James Comstock refused to buy a pack of cigarettes for his 19-year-old son... [..] “He took off with my truck. I call the police..."

    Ames Police Officer Adam McPherson pursued Comstock into the heart of ISU’s campus. During the chase, Comstock rammed McPherson’s car. The truck eventually stopped, but Comstock revved the engine and refused orders to turn it off.

    McPherson fired six shots into the truck. Comstock died from two gunshot wounds.'

    What the hell do you expect a cop to do when your out-of-control son tries to kill one of them with his car? Stand by and applaud him for being so creatively evil?

    Vehicles kill more people every year than guns and blunt objects combined (by about a factor of 5-10x - and blunt objects are more than double firearm deaths). So the kid was 'troubled', 'upset' and 'out of control' and seeking a 'suicide by cop'. You just described every kid that did a mass school shooting in the past 3 decades.
    He had a record of trouble with the police, was disobeying authority, stole a vehicle, rammed a cop and was threatening the officer. That cop should be commended for doing his job and stopping a threat to himself and the public at large without anyone else getting hurt.

  • RBS||

    What the hell do you expect a cop to do when your out-of-control son tries to kill one of them with his car? Stand by and applaud him for being so creatively evil?

    Keep on licking...

  • RBS||

    That cop should be commended for doing his job and stopping a threat to himself and the public at large without anyone else getting hurt.

    Outstanding.

  • John||

    That cop didn't do his job. His job is not to shoot people. We hire him and train him so he can protect the public without shooting people unless it is absolutely necessary. He is paid to arrest and protect the public not shoot people.

    Any moron can just shoot someone. We pay and train an LEO so we can do better than that.

    It is just pathetic how people have twisted the role of an LEO.

  • R C Dean||

    Next time somebody runs a red light and has a traffic accident, if I, as a member of the public, run up to them and put a bullet in their head, I too should be commended for stopping a threat to himself and the public at large without anyone else getting hurt?

  • Restoras||

    Presumption of innocence, how does it work?

  • JW||

    That cop should be commended for doing his job and stopping a threat to himself and the public at large without anyone else getting hurt.

    Are you a swallower or spitter?

  • Super Hans||

    Excellent trolling.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'll never forget the night when off duty cops had taken over the bar of this restaurant where I worked, and I got to listen to them drunkenly spill their guts to each other while I had my shift drink.
    At first they were trading stories about how fun it is to choke people. One giggled when he talked about how a woman peed her pants when he put a gun to her head.
    One young guy was complaining that he'd never had the opportunity to kill anyone. That's why he got the job. So he could get away with murder. His buddies consoled him and assured him that he'd get his chance. At that point I left in a combination of fear and disgust.

  • ||

    The bootlickers are out in force on this one. Wonder why?

  • RBS||

    I was about to ask where this got reposted.

  • Restoras||

    I was wondering that too.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    That cop should be commended for doing his job and stopping a threat to himself and the public at large without anyone else getting hurt.

    Yup. Think of the money we will save when cops are fully empowered to write, interpret, and enforce laws on the spot. Judge, jury, executioner.

    No prisons, no courts, no legislatures. Just coroners.

  • sarcasmic||

    Oh, and where's my bleeping hat tip?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Next time somebody runs a red light and has a traffic accident, if I, as a member of the public, run up to them and put a bullet in their head, I too should be commended for stopping a threat to himself and the public at large without anyone else getting hurt?

    If you wait that long, you are complicit in a tragic and utterly avoidable breach of the peace. Next time you see somebody who even looks like a traffic accident waiting to happen (read: some sketchy looking goofball in his hopped up jalopy, or some enfeebled geriatric case in her land yacht) DO NOT HESITATE; cap that ass, and wait patiently at the scene for your Good Citizenship Medal presentation.

  • trshmnstr||

    Talking on the phone? Cap in the ass
    Passenger distracting them? Cap in the ass
    Kids in the backseat? All the more asses to cap.
    God forbid you're eating one of those trans-fat laden fast food meals in your car. Not only are you a threat to the public for distracted driving, but you are gonna have a heart attack and crash into a bus of orphans! Not only do you get a cap in the ass, but they're gonna set your car on fire and let the fire department practice car extraction on you.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    Trell and Kuch I am disregarding your testimony entirely because you keep lying and saying it was a stolen vehicle and act like the kid knew it was stolen. No, you stupid lying cops, it wasn't, he didn't, and the police knew it.

    police work: a field with an IQ cap.

  • Paul.||

    “He took off with my truck. I call the police, and they kill him,” James Comstock told The Des Moines Register on Tuesday.

    Well, yeah... did you expect something from 1954 where a friendly, but firm uniformed officer was going to show up on your doorstep, holding your son by the shirtcollar while saying, "Mr. Comstock, I found your son, I think maybe a few minutes behind the woodshed will straighten this lad out..."

  • cavalier973||

    Well, it is Iowa...

  • Response||

    The cop should be fired and facing jail time. The father should be cited for false report of a felony theft. The kid paid the highest price for ramming into a police car. What blows my mind is the thought process of deciding to run from the police and then later ramming a car into that police. I think my parents' advice when I was growing up would have been if you do that, then expect to get shot. Frankly, this all seems like Darwinism to me. I'm not expecting we breed a civilization of compliant, authority bowing people. There is definitely a place for civil disobedience - but not when you are alone driving your father's truck that you just jacked. That situation just screams stupid to me.

  • Paul.||

    Procedures were followed.

  • ReasonableS||

    "Ames police say the teenager, from Boone, drove a stolen truck onto the Iowa State University campus on Monday, where student pedestrians dodged it to avoid being run over."

    It appears he was a hazard to students on campus. My question is was the truck able to move to other parts of campus if the officer didn't act? Did the officer put students at risk by firing on campus probably not knowing who was behind the truck should a round miss its target? Did the officer have a way to disable the truck? Clearly Comstock appeared belligerent and while he was reported to be unarmed he could have found an weapon in the truck.

    Comstock had also been in jail for disorderly conduct for a few days recently. Did the officer know that? Did that factor into his decision to use deadly force?

  • Paul.||

    Does disorderly contact carry a potential death sentence?

  • sarcasmic||

    My question is was the truck able to move to other parts of campus if the officer didn't act?

    No. At the point when the officer murdered him the truck was stuck. It was not going anywhere. The kid had ceased to be a threat at that point. However the kid did not obey the officer when he told the kid to quit revving the engine. That is why the kid was murdered. Not because he was a threat to anyone. No. He was murdered because he did not obey.

  • JW||

    Goodness. Copsuckers.org must have gotten a redirect for this piece.

    "THERE'S A REMOTE POSSIBILITY THAT HE HAS SOME KIND OF WEAPON SOMEWHERE." BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM

  • Paul.||

    *conduct*

  • Gray Ghost||

    Dashcam footage. Judge for yourselves. FWIW, the kid did accelerate in reverse to hit the cop. And forward, and the sides. Amazing that the asshole didn't hit anyone else. Kid must have thought he was playing GTA for real. And was still happily ramming cop cars when you hear the pop pop pop on the audio. At 4:05 on the clip. Fuck him. I'm sorry for his father.

    Miraculous how fast the footage becomes public when it helps exonerate the cops though.

  • Super Hans||

    That last cop needs to exercise more. Holy crap, biggest donut belly ever.

    Anyway, what was the kid thinking? High on testosterone and angry with his dad?

    Regardless, there was no need to shoot, and they should have de-escalated the chase, since they knew who he was.

  • The Unknown Pundit||

    I watched the dashcam video:

    1) Comstock was certainly guilty of speeding, reckless driving, disobeying traffic lights/signs and fleeing from police
    2) There were 3 or more occasions where Comstock intentionally rammed squad cars
    3)Comstock rammed the front right end of the squad car when the officer, having already exited the car on the left, opened fire

    Based on what I saw in the video, I doubt the officer's life was in danger when he opened fire. Comstock had certainly endangered others during the pursuit but by the time he was shot, there were no pedestrians or other vehicles around when this ended in a park a couple hundred yards off the road.

    My guess is that Comstock played "bumper cars" enough to raise the ire of the cops involved and the one that started the pursuit had had enough and decided to end the chase there away from the road when Comstock rammed his car for the third time. Not justified in my mind.

  • David H||

    I think it's worth pointing out that "park" where this shooting occurred is the Central Campus at Iowa State University. There are pedestrians present throughout the area during any daylight hour, and many present between classes. I'd like to think there was a better way to get this guy out of his truck, but just letting him drive off from that location posed considerable risks to the public as well.

  • wingnutx||

    I watched the video. He rammed the cop and got shot.

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  • John J. Galt||

    If you watch the video from the campus cop who was behind the first city cop, it was the cop who rammed the victim while on campus. The victim did back up into the cop initially, probably in an attempt to deploy the bags. The cop knew enough to start backing up and get sideways to prevent the bag deployment.

    The Ames city cops are used to a fairly docile community and initiate way too many confrontations. This may be an example where they knew who the victim was and could have let the father actually file a report of stolen vehicle before choosing to confront someone on the street. Just getting out of your car where there's traffic is enough reason to wait for the report or a better moment, like after the kid is home.

    These pricks in Ames will pull cars over with the excuse that the license plate is obscured by a plate frame. This is even though the Iowa Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that doing so is bogus.

    We do have a problem with our cops here in Ames, and we don't seem to be the exception.

    The cop never should have initiated the initial contact and, at least, quit pursuing the guy when he exhibited such irrational behavior, and for sure when he sped into the campus area. There's no way they wouldn't be able to catch up with him later and without risking high speeds through the campus.

    The Ames cops get a fail for unnecessarily endangering the public they serve, and killing one of them.

  • John J. Galt||

    Video from the City cop in front:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....D91hm57y_U

    Video from the ISU cop car behind:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....UAGazu3o8c

  • Darwin||

    Group think is a powerful enemy, and we are all very good at recognizing it in Democrats who think healthcare is a right, or Republicans who think fighting in Afghanistan promotes our freedoms at home. We should recognize it in ourselves.

    The driver here was a dangerous man who could EASILY have killed someone when he sped through that red light. Watch that scene again. If the police had let him go there's no telling what he would have done. He could have gone home peacefully...or he could have freaked out and got a weapon...or he could have gone on a rampage.

    I'm not saying the police acted perfectly, but that's a ridiculous standard. They were under attack by a man in a lethal weapon (a car) who had struck them multiple times. He struck the car when the police were out of it as well (right before the shots) which could have sent the car into the police officer.

    There is a case on Reason of a man who was anally probed for suspicion of drugs based on a bad warrant. That's worth bringing to people's attention. This case is the police defending citizens (and themselves) from a lunatic who could easily have killed some people.

    Pick your battles people, or you end up looking like mindless Democrats screaming about the man. There are real police abuses. This is not among them.

  • wingnutx||

    Save it for the New Mexico butt rapists.

  • jboze3131||

    No kidding. This article and 99% of the comments on it are embarrassingly stupid. If you read the county atty's write up about this, he makes a lot of sense. A recent Ames, Iowa gas drive off, where police did not pursue, ended in the driver running into another car, killing the teen driver and injuring another driver.

    Comstock was clearly out to maim or kill anyone in his way. With both police cars disabled, they decided to end the 3/4 ton truck's deadly rampage. If they hadn't and someone had been killed, then what?? You lose your right to life once your felonious actions put the lives of others at risk like this.

  • Mensan||

    I must agree with Darwin here. This looks like a justified shooting. The 19-year old man had repeatedly rammed police vehicles, and recklessly barreled through intersections endangering everyone on the road. Then, if you look closely at the end of the dashcam videos, that park area is full of pedestrians, and the driver appears to be aiming for them. If you look at about the 3:02 mark on the ISU officer's dashcam, one person barely gets out of the way in time.

    Anybody who has ever read any of my comments on here knows that I'm no fan of the donut-eaters, but when we automatically start screaming police abuse and muderer in every case, regardless of the actual circumstances, then we start to resemble the anti-cop bigots that dumbphy accuses us of being.

  • Edwin||

    I think you guys are out of line here. The kid was revving his engine and refusing to turn it off. This is a very dangerous situation, regardless of what you guys say. The car was a "wreck", so you guys say. Just because a vehicle isn't moving right now, failing to get traction right now, doesn't mean it won't eventually. And usually when a vehicle does manage to finally gain traction when it's on a slippery or uneven surface, it does so all of a sudden like. If the cop was out of his car, he had even more to fear for his bodily safety. In that situation, I gotta tell you, I would fear for my safety if I heard this kid still trying to get the car moving.
    And by the picture it does look like a momentary lost-traction situation. Don't tell me that you know it was a wreck and the drive train wasn't working anymore; there's no way to know that from the current news report, and anyway, the cop isn't supposed to be a walking mechanic in the middle of a stressful and possibly threatening chase situation. Again, it's absoultely reasonable to fear for your safety if this guy in this truck who wasn't afraid to ram you earlier was still revving the pedal when he was stuck.

  • Mensan||

    Plus, from the last time the 19-year old man rams the police car(the only thing stopping him from hitting the officer standing next to the police car) until the first shot is heard is about 1.5 seconds. If the truck was immobile, it wasn't immobile very long.

  • ||

    jbose, mensan and edwin,
    How do you guys type so well with a cop's knob shoved so far into your larynx?

  • DenverJay||

    I haven't read the whole thread, but i did see a lot of discussion about paranoia, lack of training, cops being hyped up on adrenaline, etc. I don't think that's the problem at all.
    I think it boils down to "contempt of cop". Its like Cartman: "You will respect my authority". They got pissed because this guy wasn't obeying, and the penalty for not instantly complying is arrest, a beating, tazering, or in this case, death.
    They have complete contempt for the citizens they are supposed to serve, and the attitude, like Stallone in Judge Dredd, "LAW? I AM the law!"
    And this attitude is not limited to LEOs; it is rampant at all levels of government.

  • DenverJay||

    Ok, NOW I've read the whole thread.
    Anyway, to expand: The people working in government don't quite get the whole "land of the free", limited government powers, "Don't tread on me" thing; they would be perfectly comfortable somewhere else.
    And the American citizens, at least some of us, have not yet realized that we no longer live in "the land of the free" with limited government, and that "Don't tread on me" is only uttered by wingnuts, whackos, racists, and militia members.
    This discontinuity causes the conflict between the people and the STAZI.
    The sooner the people learn to like the taste of boots, the sooner peace can break out. Meanwhile, the beatings, tazerings, and shootings will continue until moral improves.

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