Officer who punched woman 'used appropriate force', suspended for vulgarity

Publish date:
Updated on

A police officer who punched a woman several times in the face during an arrest used "appropriate force," an investigation has ruled, but he has been suspended for using vulgar language.

An internal investigation into the actions of Officer George Gothner in Superior, Wisconsin, during an arrest on January 5 concluded the force he used against Natasha Lancour "was reasonable and consistent with the policies of the department and the training provided by the State of Wisconsin," WDIO reports.

However, the Wisconsin Department of Justice concluded that Gothner had not communicated appropriately and used "vulgar and unprofessional language" when initially speaking to Lancour, 29.

As a result, Gothner has been handed a 10-hour unpaid suspension.

Dash cam video footage of the altercation between Gothner and Lancour shows the pair exchanging words before Gothner marches Lancour over to his car while she struggles.

After placing her face-down on the hood, Lancour attempts to wriggle free, at which point Gothner punches her as witnesses look on.

KDAL reports the investigation found Gothner's actions were appropriate "in response to resistance and to Gothner's perception that he was being assaulted."

Last month, the Pioneer Press reported that the Bayfield County district attorney had decided against charging Gothner, and just days later a disorderly conduct charge against Lancour was also dropped, FOX21 notes.

Gothner took five months' paid leave following the incident while the internal investigation progressed, and returned to a desk job in July, according to WPR.

Now that the investigation is over, he is expected back on full duty next week.

Next Up