ROCKFORD (WREX) — On Monday, Winnebago County State's Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross announced misdemeanor battery charges against Rockford Police Officer Frank Fabiani.
Those charges stem from a June 27 traffic stop. Originally, William Patrick Gettings, a frequent protester who also goes by the name Sage, was pulled over for a failure to use their turn signal.
According to the police report, Gettings was said to be combative. Gettings faced several charges from the incident. However, those charges were abruptly dropped Monday afternoon, and Fabiani was charged instead.
Now, the Police Benevolent Protective Association has issued its comments about Fabiani's charges, saying:
"The PB & PA Unit #6 is disappointed to learn of the charges filed against a Rockford Police Department officer in light of the fact that there has been no investigation to our knowledge. In our early review of the video footage, the officer appeared to act within his training, provided multiple lawful orders which were refused, and — based on the actions of the individual — used reasonable force to subdue the individual when he resisted."
The news release goes on to say:
"We are fully supportive of high standards for and accountability of our officers. As we have in the past, we would demand appropriate disciplinary action if this were a case of an officer acting inappropriately. However, we have real concerns regarding this situation. It lacks the transparency and due process upon which our justice system is founded. The video has not been released and there has been no investigation that we were made aware of. We are confident that when the video is made public, it will be clear that this was a routine traffic stop that escalated due to the uncooperative nature of the driver and the officer acted within his training."
Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea says Fabiani is on paid administrative leave. Fabiani is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 13.