Video footage shows a Wisconsin officer kneeling on the neck of a 12-year-old student
A video shows an off-duty officer restraining a student by kneeling on her neck after a fight broke out in the school cafeteria
The Kenosha Unified School District in Wisconsin released footage showing an off-duty officer placing his knee on a 12-year-old student’s neck to restrain her during a fight, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The girl's father, Jerrell Perez, called on the school district to release the footage and for charges to be pressed against the officer, Shawn Geutschow, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
What happened? The video shows one student approaching Perez’s daughter. She then pushes the student who approached her and a fight breaks out.
- “Almost immediately Guetschow, 37, intervenes in the fight by pulling the other student off Perez’s daughter. Guetschow then scuffles with Perez’s daughter before falling to the ground and striking his head on the cafeteria table,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
- “Guetschow then restrained Perez’s daughter by pushing her head into the ground and placing her in a chokehold restraint, for roughly 25 seconds, using his knee on the girl’s neck,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. “The officer then handcuffs the girl and walks her out of the cafeteria.”
Wisconsin law bans chokehold restraints: In 2021, as part of a police reform effort, the use of chokehold restraints was banned in Wisconsin, according to The Associated Press.
- Perez’s attorney, Drew DeVinney, said the restraint was similar in manner to the one used by Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, per The New York Times.
- “The officer continued to push his knee into Jerrel’s daughter’s neck as she told him she couldn’t breathe,” DeVinney said to The New York Times.
- DeVinney also said that the father took his daughter to the emergency room that day to check for any injuries and that she is undergoing therapy to determine the extent of her injuries, per The New York Times.
Officer Guetschow resigns: Originally, the school district placed Guetschow on paid leave, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Since then, he released a statement that he will be resigning due to the “mental and emotional strain” the event has brought upon Guetschow and his family.
- “I can no longer continue my employment with the Kenosha Unified School District. Please consider this as my resignation from my employment effect immediately,” said Guetschow.
The Kenosha Police department plans to investigate the matter.
- “We are keenly aware of the significant sensitivity surrounding the (footage),” the Kenosha Police Department said in a statement.
- “K.P.D. together with K.U.S.D. is investigating the incident in its entirety while being cautious to not make conclusions based off a small piece of information shared on social media. Both agencies will took to our respective policies and procedures for guidance in this circumstance.”