Cop Quits After Pulling Gun On Student Picking Up Trash

John Smyly, a Colorado police officer who pulled out his gun during a confrontation with a black man picking up trash around his dormitory, resigned under an agreement that lets him collect $69,000 in salary despite violating department policies.



Police body camera footage released shows Smyly approaching Atkinson, who was picking up trash on March 1, 2019.

“You’re on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me because I’m picking up trash. I don’t have a weapon. This is a bucket. This is a clamp.” The student can be heard saying.




Smyly requested for backup, saying that the student, Atkinson, was “uncooperative and unwilling to put down a blunt object.”

Eight police officers were surrounding Atkinson, but they eventually left after confirming Atkinson did indeed live in the building.




City officials said the investigation could not prove that the officer, John Smyly, acted because of Zayd Atkinson’s race. Investigators found Smyly violated two department policies: police authority and public trust and conduct, the city attorney said.

The report released with the video said Smyly had no authority to detain Atkinson or probable cause to charge him with any crime and should have left once Atkinson provided his name, address and his reason for being there.