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Complaint filed after incident within Ashland Police Department

ASHLAND, WI-- According to a complaint filed with the Ashland Police and Fire Commission in December, an officer allegedly struck another officer during a shift in July 2019.

According to the complaint, former officer Brandon Barnes says Sergeant Gerard Randall was training Barnes during his second day on the job when the incident happened.

The complaint says Randall instructed Barnes to move into the inside lane of traffic, and allegedly went on to say something to the affect of "If (Barnes) was driving in the outside lane again (Randall) would hit (Barnes)."

The complaint continues to say Barnes was driving in the outside lane later in the shift, which is when Randall allegedly hit Barnes in the face.

The complaint shows Barnes went home after work and told his parents about the incident. Unknown to Barnes, his parents contacted another officer with the department and told him the situation.

The complaint continues to say Police Chief Jim Gregoire was made aware of the situation and allegedly told Barnes something to the affect of "it worked and you haven't driven in the outside lane anymore."

Barnes said the rest of his time at the department was "miserable" and work became a "hostile environment." The complaint states Barnes was fired from the department on October 1.

Ashland Police Chief Jim Gregoire declined to comment on the incident. He was also unable to discuss the nature of Officer Barnes' termination from the police force.

The Ashland Police and Fire Commission says there will be a hearing on Friday, January 17 where both sides will deliver testimonies. The Commission will then vote on whether disciplinary action is required.

Hunter McCullough

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