Another Likely Unnecessary Death at the Hands of Police in Fort Worth

You can't make a police state without breaking a few skulls


Kathy and Jerry Waller
Credit: Family picture

Yesterday, Brian Doherty alerted readers to a Fort Worth man who died earlier in May after being Tasered in handcuffs by police during a home search for cocaine.

Today, KHOU reports on another police-induced fatality in Fort Worth. This time, a 72-year-old man was shot and killed by officers who were responding to a burglar alarm across the street from his home. Based on the description by the widow, the police were on their property for unexplained reasons, and Jerry Waller went down to his garage with a .38-caliber handgun because the noise made him worried somebody might be breaking into a car in their driveway.

What happened next is unclear, or rather, it's "under investigation," so the police will not say much:

Police spokeswoman Cpl. Tracey Knight wouldn't go into much detail about what led up to the shooting, saying only that "officers felt threatened" by Jerry Waller.

He was carrying a .38-caliber handgun, but police won't say if he pointed it at officers, or even if he ever left his own garage. …

Kathy Waller said her husband had been shot six times. She said from what she could tell, he never left the garage. …

She said he was only carrying the gun because they weren't sure if someone was trying to break into a car in the driveway.

"He is 72… why just shoot him?" she asked.

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  1. Jerry Waller went down to his garage with a .38-caliber handgun because the noise made him worried somebody might be breaking into a car in their driveway.

    You see, this is where liberals have a point. A gun in the hands of a civilian only confuses things when you add the ingredient of stupid cops.

    Of course the subtext is not “let’s fix the stupid cops” but let’s ban firearms in the hands of everyone but stupid cops.

  2. “He was carrying a .38-caliber handgun, but police won’t say if he pointed it at officers, or even if he ever left his own garage. ?”

    You know it’s a bad shoot when they won’t even lie and claim he pointed the gun at them. Though that’s probably coming.

    1. It takes time to get stories consistent.

      1. They did claim to have ordered him to drop the gun. But that’s just boilerplate.

        1. And identified themselves, clearly, three times.

          1. Don’t you mean six times? Or was that bullets.

  3. The more I read Reason, the more afraid of calling the cops I become.

    1. It’s only a matter of time before you slip up, then you and your dog(and/or cat)get it…..

      /The pigs.

    2. hear, hear

  4. A man is murdered on his property by cops who had no business being there. Nothing to see here folks, mistakes were made, training will be given after paid administrative leave.

    1. I read the link from Balko this morning and they actually said

      “Policies and procedures were followed,” Knight said. “Officers are taught when they go to a call to survey the entire landscape and not just the small area of where the call is.”

      It’s not even a joke – its SOP…

  5. why just shoot him?


    Those cops have to make it home at the end of the shift. They have families who care about them.

    1. The Late P Brooks| 5.29.13 @ 5:37PM |#

      why just shoot him?


      Those cops have to make it home at the end of the shift. They have families who care about them.
      Because…Fuck you!, that’s why.


    2. Someone’s going to accidentally shoot a cop one of these days.

      Are they going to be able to enter into evidence the stunningly high rate of “friendly-fire” incidents like this where the cops gun someone down and sweep it all under the rug?

      1. Didn’t work for Cory Maye, Ranter.

        The guy was 72 for Chrissakes. Not the kind of guy to willingly get in a shootout with cops. Think this guy would have pointed his gun at them if he knew they were cops (assuming he even got the gun out of his pocket)? Whatever happened to identifying yourself, then opening fire? Wouldn’t surprise me if Mr. Waller never even knew they were there.

    3. why just shoot him?

      Because that’s what they’re trained to do. In fact this guy looks a lot like one of the targets they train with.

      and FYTW.

      1. The two responding cops were both on the force for less than a year – they were both excited they were finally going to “get some” – no way they were going to ruin shooting someone by yelling “drop the gun” or “we are the police”

  6. “He is 72… why just shoot him?” she asked.

    Uh, because they’re just your average, aggro gun-toting asshole LEOs. Everything’s a threat, so they’re justified in shooting/killing everything.

    Let’s all do the obvious thought exercise: what would’ve happened if Mr. Waller had shot and killed a cop who had gone onto his provate property unannounced?

    1. He would have been charged and convicted of capital murder and in Texas, would have received the death penalty. So, either way, it’s lose-lose for the citizen, win-win for the police.

      If you go to the article’s comments, you will find Facebook posts on how nobody should ever investigate sounds outside their house; instead, they should call the police. Which will result in your own death.

  7. Before we all make Jerry Waller out to be an angelic hero, shouldn’t we find out if he ever got in any fights while he was in school? The media obviously has it out for this poor cop who was just defending himself after being viciously attacked. That’s what all the survivors say happened after all.

    1. He was most likely running a clandestine meth lab, but the pigs cannot comment…. ongoing investigation.

      1. Nah, the rules state that the cops must withhold comment in cases where there is no evidence justifying their actions or they find exculpatory evidence.

        Anything that tars the defendant needs to be released as soon as possible – for the safety of the community.

    2. Obama has basically adopted what the brownshirts have been doing for years.

      “Can’t comment, ongoing investigation”

      By the time the “investigation” is over, the public has already forgotten.

    3. Nice strawman, dipshit.

      I’ll tell you what. If Jerry Waller turns out to have a violent history and I willfully hide that fact in order to try to make him out to be an angel, then your idiotic comparison might have some merit. Also, if I post pictures of Waller from when he was 13 in order to drum up sympathy, then you’d have a point.

      I’m searching in vain for anywhere in this article or the comments where someone calls him an angelic hero. It’s almost like you completely misrepresent what people are saying in order to continue your dull-witted, boring crusade over the Zimmerman issue.

      1. Stormy Dragon sure is Reason’s lefty sympathizer, but he was being sarcastic here, I think.

        1. I was being sarcastic. I just wish some of the healthy skepticism we see in cases like this was more on display in instances where it’s wasn’t as easy to identify with the deceased.

      2. I’m used to sarcasmic flying off the handle, Irish, but you’ve always struck me as level-headeder.

        Now I don’t know what to think.

  8. This won’t go down well in Texas at all.

    1. I went to law school in Texas and got a real good taste of Texas justice there while clerking for a crim defense firm. Trust me, Texans side with the police every time as do most moronic Americans.

  9. Well, the cops who murdered this guy did say that the felt bad. What more do you want? They felt bad!

    1. Nothing an early retirement and lots of expensive therapy won’t fix.

  10. This will go to a grand jury – all shootings do in Texas.

    Will be very interesting to see if a jury of the victims peers are ok with cops shooting innocent citizens on their own property. Especially a geriatric. Lotta old folks on juries.

    1. Even shootings involving cops?

      1. It actually does happen from time to time, sarcasmic. Getting them convicted is another matter.

  11. Only the police can be trusted to wield semi-automatic killy-death-boomsticks. If the police didn’t shoot this old man, he would have shot himself with his .38, or one of his grandchildren, or his wife, or his dog. Better to be sacrificed on the altar of Officer Safety and the State.


    1. Think of how much more dead he’d be if he’d shot himself!

  12. I can’t even work up a glib response to yet another are-you-fucking-kidding-me tragedy.

    You really have to wonder what it’s going to take for a population, not composed solely of poor minorities, to turn on these animals finally. You try and bring up with people the idiocy of militarized, bottom feeding baboons with guns, and they just give you blank stares.

    1. That’s because most people are rationally ignorant. These incidents aren’t widely reported in the media, you have to come to site like Reason, or The Agitator to hear about them. And as egregious as these incidents are, in a nation of 310 million people, the odds of any one person being a victim of something like this is vanishingly small. And don’t forget, most of what is reported is the cops side of the story, so you can’t really blame people for being misinformed when all of the government, media, and academia is intentionally misinforming them.

  13. A few years ago my dad, who was out of town, asked me to investigate his home when the alarm went off. He’d been told the cops would need half an hour to rendezvous. So off I go traipsing around the property at three in the morning, struggling up and down the hillside against which his house sits, armed with a flashlight. I met up with the cops after the second circuit. They didn’t reach for their guns when I came blundering down the hillside, thankfully, but they did their light shining directly in the face ploy and then followed me, the unarmed twenty-something kid in flipflops, up and around the house.

    It occurred to me later that they probably only responded in the first place because it’s a rather nice neighborhood. Apropos of nothing, really, but I wish he’d declined involving the cops.

  14. Roll that beautiful bean footage lol.


  15. This doesn’t add up. The article yesterday said that this happened in a country club. The man is 72 years old. In the two pictures of him I’ve seen, he’s wearing polo shirts. The only way officers felt threatened of this guy is if he pointed his gun at them and the only way he pointed his gun at them is if he didn’t know they were officers. I suspect the officers failed to identify themselves properly and then escalated things way too quickly. Hopefully this event will help America realize that anyone can be a victim of over-aggressive, under-trained, LEOs.

  16. Serious Question:

    Has this kind of thing been happening all along? Or is it just more widely known because of the internet?

  17. 72 is old enough.
    Nobody needs a high-capacity lifespan.

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