TIPTON, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa trooper pointed his gun at and knocked down a motorcyclist for no apparent reason during a traffic stop, then falsely charged the man with eluding law enforcement.
Dash camera video released Monday shows then-Iowa State Patrol officer Robert Smith pulling over motorcyclist Bryce Yakish for speeding on Sept. 25, 2017.
What appears to be a routine stop escalates immediately when Smith runs out of his car with his gun drawn and strikes Yakish in his helmet. The force knocked the 150-pound Yakish backward and onto his motorcycle, and both fell to the ground. Yakish is repeatedly heard complaining of neck pain.
Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington has cited the case as among the reasons he has refused to book all suspects arrested by Smith. He says the video shows “pretty damning” evidence of excessive force and misconduct.
Smith didn’t immediately return a message. He now works as an officer in Durant.
The Cedar County attorney’s office released the video Monday in response to records requests.