Judge declares mistrial in case against former Iowa trooper

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge declared a mistrial Friday in the case of a former Iowa state trooper who was charged with using unreasonable force against a motorcyclist during a traffic stop.

The judge declared the mistrial after jurors said in a note that “we have decided as a group that we cannot reach an unanimous decision or verdict” on the charges against Robert James Smith, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Smith was charged with deprivation of rights under color of law — use of unreasonable force that causes bodily injury after a 2017 traffic stop of a motorcyclist who had been speeding on Interstate 80 near the small eastern Iowa city of West Liberty.

Dash camera video showed Smith pulling over the motorcyclist, Bryce Yakish, and then running from his car with his gun drawn. Smith knocked Yakish to the ground and briefly put his knee on his neck while handcuffing him.

Court records don’t indicate whether federal prosecutors will retry Smith.

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