An Iowa police chief is apologizing for a recent incident wherein an officer tried to search the car of a man who plays Frisbee golf because, according to the officer, everyone that plays the sport smokes marijuana. A video of the incident, recorded by the motorist, has caused a stir in the media that the Ankeny police department is trying to quell.
Local news outlet WhoTV describes the content of the video:
“You play frisbee golf?” the officer asks. “I do actually. I play out at Heritage (Park)” the motorist replies. So the officer says, “OK. I need you to answer me a question. Why is it that everybody that plays Frisbee golf smokes weed?” “No, it’s not everybody,” the motorist insists. “It’s everybody, man. You can’t tell me you never smoked weed,” the officer says. The motorist replies, “I’m not gonna tell you one way or another.” So the officer says, “See, there you go. How much weed do you have in the car today?”
The driver tells the officer he doesn’t have any marijuana. So the officer says, “You understand you’re free to go and everything but you wouldn’t have a problem with me looking through your car?” The motorist denies the request saying, “I actually would. Just because I have a disc golf bag doesn’t mean that every disc golfer does have weed.” The officer says, “So you have weed in the car then is what you’re saying?” The motorist answers, “No I would say I have a problem with you searching my car because you’re profiling me based on being a disc golfer.”
The surreal encounter ended when the officer finally let the motorist go on his way. A Drake Law Professor, Robert Rigg confirmed that the officer broke the law by trying to search a car during a stop for a mere equipment violation, citing a ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court.
The city of Ankeny released a statement on the part of the police department, stating, “The officer engages the driver in a line of questioning that is foolish and not representative of the Ankeny Police Dept.`s training or interactions with the public. This verbal exchange did not meet the level of professionalism expected of Ankeny police officers. Ankeny Police Chief Gary Mikulec respectfully apologizes for the officer`s demeaning statement.”