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Bayfield County DA to lend hand in SPD case
Brutality allegations against a Superior Police Officer are in the Bayfield County District Attorney’s hands. Brad Phenow reports.
Whether or not Superior Police Officer George Gothner will be charged for excessive use of force against Natasha Lancour of Superior has been turned over to Bayfield County District Attorney Fred Bourg. Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank says it’s the right move.
“Well the part of the case that focuses on Officer Gothner’s conduct is a little too close for comfort here. I received a few accusations from Ms. Lancour and her attorney by mail that it would be inappropriate for me to handle.”
Lancour’s attorney Rick Gondik agrees.
“With Mr. Blank sitting in judgment over a Superior Police Officer that perpetrated this violence on my client would be a conflict of interest of an immense proportion.”
The case will now be tried March 25th, a month earlier than planned. The result of the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s use of force investigation will be released to Gondik by 4 p.m. Friday.
Lancour thinks the fact Blank is holding the report this long is good news.
“The report shows a lot. It is in my favor I really truly feel that. That’s why it has been held back so long, for them to hold something so important to me, it should be revealed.”
Blank says both Lancour and Gothner denied being interviewed for the DOJ’s investigation but others from the January 5th incident outside of the Keyport Lounge in Superior were. He says he would have liked the report to remain private for longer.
“A prosecutor likes to have a little bit of time privately with their information, their case before it goes public. I think we’ve lost that so let the games begin as they say.”
Gondik says he is prepared, and looking forward to the jury trial.
“This case isn’t a real hard one. I mean we’re going to play a video. A picture is worth a thousand words, how many words are a video of my client getting a beat down by a police officer, worth. If Mr. Blank can’t see that, 12 citizens of this county will.”
Lancour is charged with two misdemeanors of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
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