Off-duty officer shown on video putting knee on girl's neck

A Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer has resigned as a school safety officer after video circulating on social media showed him restraini...

A Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer has resigned as a school safety officer after video circulating on social media showed him restraining a 12-year-old student by putting his knee on his neck.

Surveillance footage released Friday by the Kenosha Unified School District shows a March 4 fight between two students in the cafeteria at Lincoln Middle School. In the video, school district employees respond, including an off-duty Kenosha Police Department officer working for the school district. The officer, Shawn Guetschow, has served as a Kenosha police officer for four years, according to the department.

The video shows Mr. Guetschow restraining the student and kneeling on her neck for at least 20 seconds. The girl’s name has not been released.

Drew DeVinney, an attorney for the girl’s father, Jerrel Perez, said Mr Perez took his daughter to the emergency room that night to be evaluated for neck injuries and symptoms of concussion. Mr DeVinney said she was undergoing ongoing therapy and a neurological evaluation to determine the extent of her injuries and had received a doctor’s note authorizing two weeks of medical leave while she recovered.

“She’s humiliated, she’s traumatized,” Mr Perez told a news conference this week, adding that every day she tells him, “Dad, I don’t want to go to school.”

Mr. DeVinney noted that Mr. Guetschow’s maneuver mirrored that used by Derek Chauvin in the 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“The officer kept pushing his knee into Jerrel’s daughter’s neck as she told him she couldn’t breathe,” Mr DeVinney said.

This week, Mr. Guetschow resigned of his position with the school district, citing the “mental and emotional strain” it has placed on his family and “the lack of communication and/or support I have received from the district.” The police department did not say whether it would take action against the officer and did not respond to a request for comment. Efforts to join Mr. Guetschow’s police union were unsuccessful.

In 2021, Governor Tony Evers of Wisconsin signed a package bills involving the use of force, including a bill banning the use of chokeholds by law enforcement. But even without that legislation, Mr. Guetschow’s actions amount to excessive force, Mr. DeVinney said.

“I want this officer charged, because if it was me or another parent or an adult putting their knee on a child, it would be child abuse,” Perez said. “Why does that make it different? »

Mr. DeVinney said the family intends to take legal action against Mr. Guetschow, the police department and the school district. The family is also working to have the police department dismiss a disorderly conduct charge against the student.

In one declaration Days after the incident, the department said it was “investigating the incident in its entirety while being careful not to draw conclusions based on one small piece of information shared on social media.”

The school district declined to comment pending possible litigation.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Off-duty officer shown on video putting knee on girl's neck
Off-duty officer shown on video putting knee on girl's neck
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