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Chief: Lincoln police officer put on unpaid, investigative suspension
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Chief: Lincoln police officer put on unpaid, investigative suspension

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A Lincoln police officer was suspended Friday in connection to his alleged involvement in a domestic violence incident last weekend, the police chief said Friday afternoon.

In a video statement, Chief Jeff Bliemeister said he asked the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office to conduct a criminal investigation, in addition to his department's internal investigation.

Friday, he said, the sheriff's office served Officer Nicolas Russell with a domestic abuse protection order.

He has not been charged in connection to the incident.

A Lancaster County District judge granted the protection order Friday based on a woman’s allegations that Sept. 18, Russell was verbally abusive to her, wouldn’t let her leave with their daughter and threatened to beat her and, in an incident last week, took her cellphone and threatened to "bash my face in."

The two are divorcing, according to court records.

Russell can request a hearing to contest the allegations. The 25-year-old officer joined the department in June 2018.

Bliemeister said Russell currently is participating in a diversion program for an unrelated disturbance at a Haymarket bar Aug. 17, while he was off-duty. Lincoln police cited him for disturbing the peace.

Following an internal investigation of that incident, he received an undisclosed administrative penalty, the chief said.

"We take all allegations of misconduct seriously, especially those involving domestic violence," Bliemeister said.

He said Lincoln police will fully cooperate with the criminal investigation, and their internal focus will remain on whether there were any additional violations of department orders.

"The men and women of the Lincoln Police Department work with our community partners to empower those who have experienced intimate-partner violence," Bliemeister said. "We strive to provide a voice to all victims of domestic violence and will not tolerate actions that undermine the public's trust."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.

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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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