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Rockford Police Officer charged following traffic stop involving protester

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — A Rockford Police Officer has been charged following a traffic stop of a frequent Rockford protester.

The announcement was made Monday by the Winnebago County State's Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross. Officer Frank Fabiani is charged with misdemeanor battery charges.

The charges stem from a traffic stop made Saturday when William Patrick Gettings, a frequent protester who also goes by the name Sage, was pulled over for a failure to use their turn signal.

That's according to a probable cause statement obtained by 13 WREX. In it, Fabiani wrote Gettings got out of their vehicle during the stop, was combative, tried to spit on an officer and said "I'm getting your gun." The statement went on to say Gettings was later taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

In a criminal complaint filed Monday, Gettings faced several charges, including aggravated battery to a police officer and resisting a peace officer.

But by Monday afternoon, the charges were dropped and the state's attorney's office had filed a motion to dismiss the charges. A few hours later, Hite Ross announced the police officer involved in the traffic stop would be charged with battery.

Hite Ross said the decision came after reviewing video from the incident, but would not offer more details on what the video revealed.

The officer has been with the force for 18 to 19 months, and is now on paid administrative leave.

13 WREX will have full coverage tonight on 13 News at 5 and 6.

Audrey Moon

Audrey is the news director at 13 WREX. She’s a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and joined the team at 13 WREX in 2014.

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