An Ankeny, Iowa cop filmed trying to flip a traffic stop into a vehicle search with a dubious line of questioning is now under investigation.
A video of the incident posted to YouTube Oct. 2 picks up with the officer issuing a written warning to a motorist, who had been stopped for driving without headlights. The unidentified officer comments on the driver's Frisbee golf bag before asking the man, "Why is it that everybody that plays Frisbee golf smokes weed?”
He then asks the driver if he's smoked weed before, and then adds, "How much weed do you have in the car today?”
"I don't," the driver says. He is eventually let go, but critics say the officer profiled the motorist. City officials seem to agree the cop was out of line.
A police spokesman called the officer's questioning "foolish and not representative of the Ankeny Police's training or interaction with the public." The police chief apologized for the officer's "demeaning" statement about Disc Golfers, and said that the incident is being investigated as a personnel matter.
“What the officer did after that was try to extend that stop into a general search of the defendant’s car, or the individual’s car. That’s not permissible anymore,” Drake University Law Professor Robert Rigg told WHO-TV. "Under the Iowa constitution you can’t convert an equipment violation stop into a general search, and any consent that would have been given would have been invalid."
In other words, even if the driver had okayed a search, anything the officer may have found more than likely couldn't have been used as evidence. Rigg said the driver did exactly what he should have done by refusing to consent to a search.