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DMPD sergeant resigns after making 'potentially inappropriate and insensitive' comment at union meeting

Sgt. Greg Wessels made the comment made during a union meeting Tuesday night, Sgt. Paul Parizek told Local 5.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A Des Moines police sergeant resigned amid an internal affairs investigation over a comment made during a Tuesday night union meeting.

According to people present at the meeting, the officer being investigated is now-former Sgt. Greg Wessels, which DMPD spokesperson Sgt. Paul Parizek confirmed.

"There was a potentially inappropriate and insensitive comment made by one of the members," Paul Parizek said. "It was immediately called out and challenged by several of the members and immediately reported to our command who initiated an investigation. That investigation began immediately, the employee was placed on administrative leave and as of [Friday]  the employee resigned."

Wessels was part of a $75,000 lawsuit settlement in May 2020 after he pepper-sprayed a 17-year-old girl and threw her to the ground.

He was also the subject of an $800,000 lawsuit settlement in December 2018 regarding excessive use of force against Dustin Burnikel in May 2013.

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