Iowa Lawman Suspended After Pursuing Governor's Speeding SUV

Dan Fastenberg
Iowa police officer Larry Hedlund was trying to make sure a speeding car was pulled over. But he says he lost his job.
Iowa police officer Larry Hedlund was trying to make sure a speeding car was pulled over. But he says he lost his job.

The whole point of police and other public security jobs is to treat everyone equally before the law. So that means that any car gets pulled over for speeding, even if it's carrying a state governor. It appears it was that equal-minded approach to the law that motivated Larry Hedlund, a special agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, to pursue the case of one speeding car back on April 29. Hedlund was on duty when a black Chevrolet SUV was picked up as traveling Highway 20 at a "hard 90," as Hedlund sized it up at the time.

But unnamed patrol officers and dispatchers reportedly ditched the pursuit when they surmised that Iowa governor Terry Branstad was inside the car. (Pictured above is an image from video of the chase; the raw video is below.) In response, Hedlund decided after that weekend to complain to his managers about the special treatment, according to his lawyer, Tom Duff. The governor, for his part, says that he had no idea about what might have been going on. Regardless, two days later, Iowa state agents showed up at Hedlund's home to take his gun, badge, car, phone and laptop and told him that he was being placed on indefinite leave as of May 1, according to Duff. But after the Des Moines Register recently obtained audio of the incident, the Iowa Department of Public Safety confirmed that it was investigating the matter.