Updated: 01/24/2014 6:29 PM
Created: 01/24/2014 5:34 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
A witness has come forward with new video of the controversial arrest by a Superior police officer earlier this month. The woman arrested has been charged with battery of a peace officer, but her attorney said the new video shows the officer used excessive force.
Video from a police dashboard camera showed how the incident started, but the struggle between 28-year-old Natasha Lancour and Officer George Gothner continued out of view.
Lancour's defense attorney, Rick Gondik, said a witness recorded what happened next, and he said the video shows Gothner continuing to punch his client while she's on her knees.
“This is unequivocally demonstrating that the force was excessive,” Gondik said.
Police reports show Gothner responded to the scene of a fight outside Keyport Lounge in Superior on Jan. 5. The video shows him approaching Lancour and then attempting to arrest her.
Gondik said the cell phone video came from an anonymous witness. He said it fills out the story missing from the previously released police video. He said Gothner was out of line in his use of force.
“He's supposed to be there as a peace officer, as in keep the peace. No he basically initiated this contact, the physical contact, I think that's clear,” Gondik said. “We think this video will demonstrate that this was, in fact, an unlawful use of force.”
Natasha Lancour has been accused of felony battery of Officer Gothner. In his report, Gothner wrote Lancour resisted arrest and reached up and scratched his face so he responded with two closed fist punches. Gondik said the punches were unjustified whether or not his client scratched Gothner.
“The proportionality, the level of force leveled on her was way out of proportion to a scratch,” Gondik said.
Superior Police also received the anonymous video on Friday, and officials said it was placed into evidence. Police have sent it to the independent investigator reviewing Gothner's use of force.
Chief Charles LaGesse said he had no comment on the new video, but in a Wednesday interview LaGesse said the case will be resolved in court.
“This is a case that will be tried in criminal court, and potentially in civil court, and that's where it should be tried. And I'm not trying it in the media by making further comment,” LaGesse said.
Superior Police said Gothner has been moved to office duty and will not be on patrol until the investigation is complete. However LaGesse emphasized that the change is not a disciplinary action.
Duluth Ski Club Continues Cross-Country Tradition
The weather was perfect on Saturday for the Tour Duluth cross-country ski event. Skiers hit the trails from the west to east end of town to celebrate the end of the season, and members of the Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club they'll keep the skiing tradition going.
Brighton Beach Draws Ice Fishing Crowd on a Sunny Saturday
Brighton Beach drew quite the crowd on Saturday. The sunny weather brought people out to do some fishing before the ice was gone. Jeff Swenson said he wasn't catching much, but he was out there for the warm weather.
Coast Guard Begins Ice Breaking on Lake Superior
U.S. Coast Guard officials say ice breaking on the Duluth-Superior harbor this year will be difficult. The director of Vessel Traffic Services tells Wisconsin Public Radio that it's the most ice he's seen on the lake in 25 years.
State Patrol: 4 Killed in Crash Near Sleepy Eye ID'd
The Minnesota State Patrol has released the identities of four people killed in a two-vehicle crash on icy roads Friday near Sleepy Eye. The broadside crash happened on Highway 14 in Brown County just after 8 p.m.
US Navy Sends Destroyer to Help in Plane Search; 2 Stolen Passports Were on Board
The U.S. Navy says it has dispatched a warship to aid in the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner. The jet vanished Saturday on a flight from Malaysia to Beijing. Vietnamese air force planes report spotting a pair of large oil slicks in the area where the Boeing 777 went missing. The State Department confirms that three Americans were aboard. Additionally, Foreign Ministry Officials say two nationals listed on the manifest of the flight match passports reported stolen in Taiwan.