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Brutality investigation done, diversity endorsed for Superior Police Commission
The state investigation into police brutality charges made by a Superior woman is finished but hasn't been made public. Brad Phenow reports.
The Superior Police and Fire Commission made it part of their meeting last night.
The January 5th incident outside of a Superior bar has drawn concern from the minority community of Duluth-Superior. They say excessive force was used by Superior Police Officer George Gothner against 28 year-old Natasha Lancour. A police dash cam video shows the pair struggling and Gothner punching her at least two times. After the arrest, the pair has this exchange in the squad car on the way to jail.
Gothner: “Can I tell you something? You see this here? Your whole actions were captured on camera.”
Lancour: “Exactly. Exactly. Your actions? Your number one actions?”
Gothner: “Yeah, your number one action of hitting me first, okay?
Lancour: “That’s not normal, sweetie. Keep it real though. They were not normal … I don't give even a f---, I'm right.”
Gothner: “You're not right, so shut up.”
Lancour says Gothner punched her because she is black.
The case has been sent to the state Department of Justice. Lancour’s attorney Rick Gondik says he has been in close contact with the person in charge of the investigation.
“He confirmed that all of his reports are done. His investigation is complete and he is forwarding that to district attorney Dan Blank.”
Gondik says that after Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank, a special prosecutor could be appointed, depending on the report.
“I certainly would be shocked, dismayed quite frankly if this was kept by Dan Blank here locally.”
Lancour's next door neighbor and former Police and Fire Commissioner, Sandra Wright says it is time for a person of color to join the Police and Fire Commission. Commission Chairman Charlie Glazman says they will need to send a recommendation to the Mayor, and get it passed by the City Council. Glazman said after his term is finished in May they will look to a person of color for the new commissioner.
Lancour says this is the start of something big in Superior.
“Where people of minority or people period that have felt like they have been stereotyped are going to come forward and not be afraid to speak out.”
Wright says the biggest issue without a person of color on the commission is the fear and trust factor that people face when they want to come forward with complaints.
Gondik says he’s also asking for a speedy trial for Lancour. She’s facing misdemeanor resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges.
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