Letter to the editor: Justice should be served


An ISU Police car is damaged after a car chase that ended on Central Campus between Curtiss and Beardshear halls on Monday, Nov. 4.

It is clear from the video that the police chase that ended on the ISU campus was serious. Tyler Comstock, the driver of this truck, ran a red light at high speeds, endangering anyone near the intersection.

Granted, this 19-year-old was reckless and needed to be stopped. However once the police caught up to the truck on campus, the pursuit was now confined to an area where there were no pedestrians, and the cops and the truck were taking turns ramming each others’ vehicles.

Comstock was outnumbered and out-gunned, as he was not armed. At this point in the pursuit the police should use their weapons first to disable the vehicle — maybe shoot out the tires of the truck? Shooting this young man was the wrong thing to do, especially since the officers had caught up to the truck and boxed him in.

The officer should have pointed the gun at the truck’s tires, not at the kid’s head. It’s sickening that Officer Adam McPherson used his last resort — lethal force — as his first. He should be fired and prosecuted. His superiors should be held accountable. This is the last straw for a police department that embraces a culture of concealment and lacks accountability for their discretions.

The city of Ames has been involved in a major lawsuit for their failure in rescuing Tamela Montgomery in 2009, a woman who called the Ames Police Department and was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher as her house was surrounded with SWAT officers. She begged the dispatcher to have the police officers enter her house. She lay unable to walk, injured by her ex-husband and she told the operator that her husband had killed himself, so it was safe for the officers to rescue her. The Ames Police officers did not enter the woman’s house until some 45 minutes later.

Subsequently when the woman was finally rescued — if you call it that — the woman’s injuries were at a critical condition. The Ames Police has used the Ames city attorney to deny any wrong doing in the case and continues to wash their hands of any culpability on their part. They are not a transparent organization, nor is the mayor or Stephen Holmes, the county attorney.

The public should be outraged by the 2009 incident of extreme pathetic response, and this most recent overuse of lethal force against the 19-year-old Comstock. It’s time the Ames Chief of Police Charles Cychosz is fired including anyone in the department that is a part of his failures, including his staff.

Next, Ames Mayor Ann Campbell should be fired for allowing the city attorney to deny any wrong doing in the case of Tamela Montgomery and for her failure to demand full accountability and full disclosure of the actions of this police department.

Included in this clean sweep should be the most pathetic of them all, County Attorney Stephen Holmes. There might not be a more unjust county attorney in the state of Iowa and maybe the entire United States.

If justice is to be served in Ames, they all need to go.