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Superior Police Turn Over Investigation to the State

Updated: 01/28/2014 6:09 PM
Created: 01/28/2014 1:25 PM WDIO.com

A controversial arrest in Superior will now be reviewed by the State of Wisconsin.

The State will review the allegations of excessive force by Superior Police Officer George Gothner.

Video from a police dashboard camera shows Officer Gothner's arrest of Natasha Lancour outside of Keyport Lounge on Jan. 5.

In his police report, Gothner wrote that Lancour struck and scratched him during the incident, and he responded with a closed fist punch to her face.

Lancour has been charged with a felony for battery of a peace officer. She said she was doing nothing wrong when Gothner went up to her and swore at her.

Police Chief Charles LaGesse turned the video and case over to an outside investigator, who is an experienced instructor in arrest tactics. Then, another piece of video came from a witness who recorded part of the arrest after Gothner and Lancour moved out of the view of the dash cam.

"Now, in light of the additional video and the obvious attention from media and the community, it's clear that we need the State of Wisconsin to be the investigation agency," said LaGesse.

The chief said his department has a good relationship with the community and that it would be in the best interests of everyone to have the Wisconsin Department of Justice oversee the investigation.

Gothner had been moved from patrol to office duty when the investigation began, but LaGesse said Tuesday that Gothner is now on leave in accordance with standard department procedures and state law.

"He is currently on administrative leave," he said. "He is not working but he will remain in paid status as required by Wisconsin statute."

Lancour's defense attorney, Rick Gondick, said he's happy the investigation will be overseen by the State, but said he is focused on getting his client's charges dismissed.

Lancour will appear in court Friday.

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