Officer Suspended After Profanity-Sparked Incident
Police Report Changed After Incident, Officials Say
5:26 AM, Mar 20, 2007
A Lawrence police officer is suspended with pay as his department works to determine if he illegally arrested a man who shouted profanities at him.Investigators said Brice Dutrow, 18, hurled the F-word at Officer Gabriel Slaybaugh, something Dutrow's mother admitted wasn't a good move and led to far more than an exchange of words, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported.According to his own police report, Slaybaugh said he heard Dutrow shout the insult and followed him to his mother's apartment, where more words were exchanged."From what I understand, he was inside my home and asked my son to step outside," said Wendi Dutrow, Brice's mother. "It kind of got out of hand."Slaybaugh said he grabbed Dutrow, wrestled him to the ground and arrested him for resisting arrest.In a second report, written two days later, the officer said that he heard the insult and wondered if Dutrow was getting ready to hurt someone. The report was then changed to read that Dutrow lunged toward him.
"Being a police officer ... you should have thick skin," said Lawrence Police Chief Reggie Grandy. "Some profanities were uttered. We're just looking into it to see if we followed through legal procedures the proper way or not."Dutrow still faces the resisting arrest charge and Slaybaugh is awaiting the outcome of the investigation.Courts have ruled that cursing police or flipping them off is opinion and is, therefore, protected speech.