Charges dropped against Rockford Police officer

The charges were in connection to a June 2020 incident caught on camera.
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 11:07 AM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley dropped criminal battery charges against Rockford police officer Frank Fabiani.

“I do not believe that there is sufficient evidence to support a criminal charge against Frank Fabiani,” J. Hanley said.

The charges were in connection to a June 2020 incident caught on camera. Fabiani was charged with misdemeanor battery for the arrest of a Rockford protester.

The incident stemmed from a traffic stop Saturday, June 27 at 11:11 p.m. when Rockford Police Officer Frank Fabiani pulled William P. Gettings over for allegedly not using a turn signal. It happened on Dawn Avenue and Turner Street.

Fabiani claims Gettings tried to disarm him. Gettings was charged with aggravated assault to a police officer and attempt to disarm an officer. They were arrested and taken to the Winnebago County Jail, and also to an area hospital to be treated for head and face injuries. Their mug shot shows bruises and wounds to the face and head.

“As for Gettings, the evidence shows that he resisted arrest. He failed to get back into his car, failed to put his hands behind his back, spit on officers, and reached for and grabbed Officer Fabiani’s gun. Nevertheless, and after much reflection, I have chosen to use my prosecutorial discretion and not reinstate the criminal charges against Gettings,” J. Hanley said.

Former Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross reviewed police dash camera footage, and immediately dismissed the charges against Gettings.

Gettings identifies as a transgender person, using the pronounces they/them/she/her. Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea says the department holds itself accountable when necessary, and believes there is no room for discrimination, although he does not believe this incident was an act of anything other than a traffic stop, and is unrelated to recent protests.

“Everyone gets treated the exact same way,” O’Shea said. “And the officers go through training, and if we had anybody discriminating inside the building it’s my job to get rid of them.”

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