Senate Judiciary Committee hears incident involving death of Iowa State Trooper

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday morning discussing attacks on police.
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 12:37 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KCRG) - Politicians in Washington, D.C. heard the story of Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Jim Smith during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about attacks on police Tuesday morning.

The Iowa State Patrol Trooper was shot and killed while responding to a call in Grundy Center in April 2021. Smith was a 27-year veteran of the Iowa State Patrol.

Michael Lang is serving life in prison after being convicted of first degree murder for killing Sergeant Smith in his home, following a traffic stop that led to a chase and a standoff.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, the ranking member of the judiciary committee, spoke about a letter written by Sergeant Smith’s widow. She said her husband had told her there was rising hostility towards law enforcement for several years.

“She writes that during the riots, ‘my husband stood with a tactical team, protecting the state capitol in Iowa, and had frozen water bottles and rocks thrown at them. Protesters spit and insulted them for hours at a time, end quote,’” Grassley said, reading part of the letter.

Grassley went on to introduce Zachary Anderson, who was one of the officers that responded to the call with Sergeant Smith last year. He also testified at Lang’s trial.

Anderson described the situation with Lang, including telling him they didn’t want to hurt him, and how they entered Lang’s home.

“The suspect ambushed us when the door was opened,” Anderson said. “He was waiting for us with a shotgun. He fired two shots, striking and killing Sergeant Smith. The suspect retreated into his home. I remember shouts, ‘Jim! Jim!’  Trooper Lively calling out and removing him from the garage. Two officers were trapped in the basement, and the subject began making threats to kill us all. ‘Come in and start shooting, I’ll kill you like I killed your buddy.’”

He went on to say actions need to be taken to protect police in their line of work, and the right resources to help fund police.

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