Officer Returns To Superior Police Duty As Brutality Investigation Continues

Officer George Gothner Is Back On Duty After Period Of Paid Leave, Though He Won't Have Contact With Public

The Superior Police Department will put Officer George Gothner back on duty, though we won't have any contact with the public. Photo: Adelie Freyja Annabel (CC-BY-NC-SA).

A Superior Police officer accused of brutality in the arrest of a Superior woman outside a bar in January is back on duty.

Officer George Gothner is on administrative duty after five months of paid leave because of the Jan. 5 incident. A police dashcam video shows Natash Lancour struggling and being struck by Gothner. In the squad car on the way to jail, Lancour told Gothner, “You did it because I was black.”

Here’s a partial transcript of their recorded exchange:

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Gothner: “Can I tell you something? You see this here? Your whole actions were captured on camera.”

Lancour: “Exactly. Your number one actions?”

Gothner: “Yeah, your number one action of hitting me first, OK?”

Lancour: “Those were not normal sweetie, keep it real though. They were not normal … I don’t give a (bleep), I’m right.”

Gothner: “You’re not right, so shut up.”

Police Chief Charles LaGesse says Gothner will not have contact with the public, not even answering the phone. LaGesse thought the investigation by the Department of Justice and neighboring Bayfield County district attorney into excessive use of force would be done by now.

“Sure, it’s a difficult process for the Department,” said LaGesse. “There’s unresolved questions. There’s lots of questions asked by community members because we specifically asked for that outside review.”

He added: “Of course, every officer has their own feelings on the issue.”

Lancour’s attorney Rick Gondik said it’s also tough on his client, who faces a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge by the Douglas County district attorney.

“She can’t understand why he wants her to plea to that when she was the victim of a brutal assault, and quite frankly, I can’t give her a reasonable answer as to why she should,” said Gondik.

A John Doe hearing on Gothner’s use of force is set for Oct. 3.

You can watch the dash cam footage of the incident below: