Ferguson unrest reminds Kan. parents of son's death

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ARKANSAS CITY, KAN. --- The fatal shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown and subsequent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, brings back painful memories for a family in Kansas.

On the evening of May 31, 2014, Tayler Rock was driving home to Arkansas City after visiting his daughter, when a deputy pulled him over for a license violation. The Cowley County Sheriff says Rock tried to drive away through a ditch, dragging the deputy before shots were fired.

Three month's after Rock's death, his mother and stepfather are still trying to understand how a routine traffic stop could escalate so quickly.

"He texted me at 5:51 p.m. to say he was on his way back, happy that he had seen his daughter. And then he never came back," said his mother Jacqueline Parke.

The deputy involved in the shooting has been put on paid administrative leave while the investigation is still open.

Rock's family believes the 22-year-old's death was unjustified, and is going unpunished.

"You can't take the life of someone else, and have no consequence," said Rock's stepfather Darren Parke.

Darren points to the latest officer-involved shooting in Ferguson as an example. He says what happened to Brown and Rock highlights a troubling trend of irresponsible policing and racial profiling.

"Police are taking matters into their own hands. This kid in Missouri was shot six times while he was unarmed and at the same time three months ago, Taylor was shot five times while he was sitting in his vehicle," Darren said.

The outcome isn't safer neighborhoods, but fear, he says. "Youth are afraid of the police. I have two kids now that are afraid of the police. And that's not the way it should work."

Rock had a one-year-old girl in the backseat of his car when he was shot and killed. She was unharmed.


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