Council to Decide Officer's Fate

CARBONDALE, Kan. - Officer Gregg Wallace has been the topic of city council discussions because of complaints lodged by a few citizens.

They say Wallace handled a disturbance at a street dance in Carbondale inappropriately.

Citizens who lodged a complaint at a September city council meeting said Officer Wallace used unnecessary force taking down a young girl involved in a fight.

The girl, Abree Traphagen, 12, admits she was fighting. "I pulled a girl's hair and then I took off after her and another girl punched me and stuff. Then I got thrown on the ground by him." Traphagen said after that, she was cuffed and put in a police car by the officer, who was not wearing a uniform.

Carbondale Police Chief Adam Marion said Wallace was not in uniform because he was on a plain-clothes assignment.

"He was trying to do his job and protect this other person that could be potentially hurt," said former Carbondale police chief Jeff Brown.

Fellow officers say Wallace followed protocol subduing Traphagen. "One of the juveniles was getting hit and so he had to go after what we consider the primary agressor - the person that's causing the most damage, the most aggressive in the fight - and he had to restrain that person," said Brown.

Police say two internal reviews were conducted, then the decision was made to have a third party review with no connection to or knowledge of Officer Wallace and the case. Chief Marion asked a Missouri police department if they would review the case as a courtesy to the Carbondale Police Department.

Chief Marion expects Missouri to finish the review by Monday, Oct. 13, then he and the city attorney will meet while the Missouri P.D. presents its findings.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation told 13 News Tuesday that it has not, nor is currently, investigating the incident.

Following the Missouri review, city council members will decide whether to take action by suspending or firing Officer Wallace, or to do nothing.

If the council does not discipline Wallace, Abree's mom, Debbie, said they are in contact with an attorney and will seek legal advice from there.

The city council meets again Monday, October 20.

Police say after this issue has been resolved, another investigation will continue into whether any charges will be pressed against Abree.

Read the Osage County Herald-Chronicle story here


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