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DOJ brutality report still sqashed, Lancour trial moved back
New information and a new court date means the cloak over the Department of Justice report on allegations of Superior Police brutality won't be lifted any time soon. Brad Phenow reports.
The resisting arrest charge against the 28-year old Superior women who alleges police brutality has been dropped. The trial has been postponed in light of new information.
The January 5 incident outside of the Keyport Lounge in Superior was caught on the Superior Police’s squad cam and opened an investigation into the use of force by Officer George Gothner.
The investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice is complete but is being reviewed by the Bayfield District Attorney Fred Bourg. Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank filed an injunction to keep the investigation from being made public for an indefinite period.
Blank filed an amended complaint last week to drop the resisting arrest charge against Natasha Lancour. She now faces a lone misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Lancour’s attorney Rick Gondik says this changes everything they have prepared for.
“The courts expanded the behavior that is in question to about a three and a half hour period of time when before we were looking at about a minute period of time.”
Gondik says he will now have to find new witnesses in light of the broadened disorderly conduct charge. Finding these new witnesses will take time so Judge Kelly Thimm granted the defense a continuum to postpone the trial.
“Frustrating is a good word. We’re all dressed up with no place to go is essentially what it amounts to.”
Prior to pre-trial hearing last week, Gondik was granted a speedy trial which is no longer desired. Douglas Country District Attorney Dan Blank says he now focusing on Lancours actions throughout the night rather than what is seen on the dash cam.
“My theory at this point is to separate out what led to the police involvement, and that would focus on Ms. Lancour’s behavior.”
Blank says the whole situation could have possibly been avoided.
“If not for some of her (Lancour’s) behavior, this is our allegation, than we might not have gotten to any of this other stuff which is horribly unfortunate and difficult on both sides. I’m not happy with what Ms. Lancour went through, I’m not happy with maybe what the officers went through. Certainly the physical outcome is wildly different.”
Judge Thimm also continued the protective order to restrict the results of the DOJ’s investigation to be revealed to the public. The postponed motion hearing is now scheduled for June 4.Previous KUWS Articles:
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