[WATCH] Green Bay Police Officers Suspended Without Pay in Excessive Force Probe

Three officers were disciplined and one resigned in the wake of a traffic stop in which the officers were determined to have used excessive force to arrest an unarmed man.

GREEN BAY – More city police officers have been disciplined in connection with a February traffic stop in which officers used a Taser three times on an unarmed man, handcuffed him and jailed him on charges that were later dropped.

Two patrol officers and a lieutenant each were suspended for five days without pay for their roles in a Feb. 26 incident outside an apartment building in the 1400 block of Admiral Court on the city’s west side. They also underwent retraining on issues related to the incident.

Officer Michael Rahn, the officer who police said initiated the 3:04 a.m. stop of the 2003 Cadillac Escalade and later falsified a report about it, resigned in March as the department investigated his role in the incident.

Though Rahn told a supervisor that the incident “spiraled out of control” and “could have ended much worse,” internal investigators later found that any escalation of the incident was at least partially the fault of officers.

Among other things, the probe concluded that officers wrongly interpreted a man’s slow response to commands as “actively resisting” arrest, and found that what officers concluded was an attempt to reach for a gun was actually the man’s attempt to keep his pants from falling down.

The investigation stemmed from an internal review of Rahn’s use-of-force report, which found his account of events did not match the video from the squad cars.

Chief Andrew Smith issued the suspensions after an investigation by internal investigators, interviews with the people who were in the car and a consultation with a use-of-force instructor from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Some officers within the department disagree with the discipline issued to patrolmen Tom Behn and Paul Spoerl, and Lt. Paul Lewis.

Four training officers in the department reviewed the findings of the investigation and concluded that the force used after the traffic stop was justified. The city’s police union called the conclusions about excessive force “troubling.”

A fifth officer who was at the scene, first-year Patrolman Garth Russell, was not suspended. But investigators concluded he submitted a report that was not clear or accurate, records show.

Investigators in the department reviewed video recorded from the squad cars of the officers involved in the incident and interviewed the officers as well as the people in the car involved in the stop. That’s according to 215 pages of reports released Thursday to USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin in response to an Open Records Law request.

For the full story visit: http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/2017/09/21/more-green-bay-police-officers-suspended-without-pay-excessive-force-probe/687172001/