Georgia deputies lied to a family about the cause of their teenage son’s death, recently released dash cam reveals.
“Then the story changed to he hit a cop car at 10 mph. Then it changed to they pushed him off the road. So I heard all these stories, but nothing’s been confirmed.”
But dash cam footage released last month confirms 18-year-old Nicholas Dyksma did not hit a tree.
It confirms he also did not die from hitting a cop car at 10 mph.
Instead, the video confirms deputy Thomas Pierson, who has since been arrested and indicted for sexually assaulting at least three women he pulled over during traffic stops, Tasered Nicholas Dyksma before yanking him from his pick up truck, throwing him to the asphalt and mashing his knee on the back of teen’s neck for nearly a minute, asphyxiating and killing him.
Greg Dyksma, Nicholas’ father, has only seen the disturbing video once. His wife, Tammy Dyksma, has never seen the video.
But one view was enough for Greg Dyksma to know something wasn’t right about the way cops treated his son and the video is now the basis of a federal lawsuit, which names Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley, Sgt. Joe Harmon as well as deputies Heath Dawsom, William Sturdevant and Tommy Pierson as defendants.
It began around 2:00 a.m. on Aug. 31, 2015 with a call to police about a suspicious person sleeping in his truck at a Circle K store, which was Phillip Dyksma.
Columbus police first made contact with him, attempting to wake him up by tapping on his window.
Dyksma, a hard sleeper according to his father, eventually woke up and fled.
Columbus cops stopped chasing Dyksma at the county line, but Harris County deputies spotted his Toyota pick up and continued the chase, deploying a stop stick to flatten its tires.
Four deputies converged on Dyksma’s truck, shouting, “get out of the goddamn car! Get out of the fucking car! Open the door!”
Dyksma spins the wheels of his Toyota in a futile attempt to escape.
Deputy Pierson futilely kicks the passenger door. Recoil from his own kick causes him to land on his backside.
The other deputies on-scene can be heard telling each other to “get out of the way” to “watch out” and “move” before bashing in Dyksma’s windows.
They drag Dyksma from the truck face-first. Deputy “Tommy” Pierson is the first to land a cheap shot punch to Dyksma’s head.
While wrestling around with the teen who does not appear to be resisting deputies placing handcuffs on him, Pierson mashes his knee into the back of Dyksma’s neck.
After Dyksma is securely handcuffed, he walks around to his other side, briefly picks him up, then mashes his knee into the back of his neck again while other deputies place their feet on his legs then hold the handcuffed, 115-pound teen down with their arms at 2:14 a.m.
“Hey! The tag is expired,” one deputy blurts out, apparently notifying the others they could now claim they probable cause to stop Dyksma in the first place since sleeping in a vehicle is not a crime.
At 2:15 a.m. deputies notice Phillip Dyksma had gone limp and was no longer conscious.
“Hey, Nicholas,” one deputy, who knew his name from checking the tag, says. “Open your eyes, Nick!”
“Is he alive?”
“Hey, Nicholas! Open your eyes, Nick!”
“Is he alive?”
“Hey, Nicholas, wake up!”
“Wake up, Nicholas!”
“Anybody got any ammonia?”
“Come on, Nicholas, wake up! Wake up, sir! Nicholas!”
Deputies think he takes a breath at 2:17.
“Come on, breath! You got it, breath! Wake up! He just took a breath.”
“Step it up,” one deputy says to a 911 dispatcher requesting an ambulance.
Several more minutes go by as the deputies continue their chatter.
It wasn’t until the 2:23 mark when they finally decide to move Dyksma to a flat area to attempt chest compressions to revive him.
An ambulance arrives a couple minutes later, but leaves the scene at 2:38 a.m.
“It was not until the ambulance arrived some ten minutes later that Defendants made any attempt to perform CPR on Nicholas, and by then it was too late to revive him,” the lawsuit filed by his Dyksma’s family states.
Dyksma’s blood toxicology report showed methamphetamine in his system, but the autopsy certified his cause of death as “homicide at the hands of another.”
“The manner homicide is described, simply, as death at the hands of another, and does not express legal implications,” the report reveals.
“Sudden death during an altercation with law enforcement, after deployment of an electro-conductive device, with prone positioning, compression of the neck and torso, and acute methamphetamine intoxication.”
After Dyksma’s death, Sheriff Jolley went on camera to speak to local news media, WTVM, telling reporters he reviewed footage from his deputies dash cams stating, “it appears that all our policies were followed.”
Craig Jones, Dyksma’s lawyer, said that comment got the sheriff amended into the lawsuit as a defendant.
“After a careful review of the video, Sheriff Jolley made a public statement to the news media that the deputies involved were following his policies when they engaged in the actions shown on the video,” Jones said.
“Sheriff Jolley’s conduct in approving their conduct without criticism and failing to discipline or retrain them further supports the conclusion that the deputies acted in accordance with his policy.”
At the funeral home, Greg Dyksma said he didn’t recognize his own son.
“My wife and I walked into the funeral home and we saw him lying in the casket and I thought, ‘My God, they made a mistake. That’s not my son.’ They had put so much makeup on him that he wasn’t recognizable at all.”
The mortician told the couple Nick’s face was badly bruised and cut, which is why he applied so much make up.
“So I asked him to remove all the makeup and take pictures,” Dyksma said. “I have never seen them. I don’t want to see them.”
Greg Dyskma stated one of the reasons he’s pursuing a civil lawsuit is because he can’t count on a criminal prosecution, in part due to a conflict of interest.
“I don’t have any information from the DA saying that they’re going to do anything about it. The GBI’s not going to do it. The DA has to do it. So if the DA’s not going to do anything, these guys all walk away.”
It turns out, Sheriff Jolley’s son Cody is an investigator with for District Attorney Julia Slater’s office, who is not only investigating the deputies involved in Phillip Dyksma’s death, but the several sexual assaults allegedly committed by deputy Pierson.
“I’m not saying he should have gotten off scot-free, and been able to go and just do what he wants. What I’m saying is that what he did didn’t deserve the death sentence,” Greg Dyksma explained during an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer.
“If that’s what the officers’ policies and procedures are, they need to fix that, because it could be your son, your daughter, your family member,” he said while holding up a picture of deputy Pierson.
“[It could be] your wife getting raped by this guy on the side of the road in Harris County,” he said.
“What’s happening out there?”
And that is a very good question.