Des Moines Police Sergeant Resigns Amid Investigation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines police sergeant with a history of excessive force complaints has resigned amid an internal investigation into what other officers reported were offensive remarks he made to another officer during a recent union meeting.

Reports from more than a dozen officers who attended the meeting say Wessels made a comment that was inappropriate and insensitive in response to discussions of an officer allegedly leaking police information, television station KCCI reported.

Des Moines Police spokesman, Sgt. Paul Parizek said Wessels resigned but didn't give details about the reasons. However, he called the allegations against Wessels “incredibly serious.”

“We put a lot of effort into making sure that we leave our biases at home,” Parizek said. “We put a lot of effort into making sure that our heads are in the right place, and that it’s reflected in the things we say and do.”

Wessels has a history of disciplinary action within the department and was at the center of two 2018 excessive force cases in which the city paid a total of $875,000 in settlements.

A publicly-listed telephone number for Wessels could not be found Friday.