Kenosha off-duty police officer shown putting knee on 12-year-old girl’s neck
Officer resigns from school security guard job after officials release footage of fight and girl’s father calls for criminal charges
School officials in Kenosha, Wisconsin released surveillance footage that showed an off-duty police officer putting his knee on a 12-year-old girl’s neck to restrain her amid a lunchtime fight.
The Kenosha Unified School District released redacted footage of the 4 March fight on Friday.
It showed the officer, Shawn Guetschow, intervening in the fight and scuffling with the girl, before falling to the ground and hitting his head on a table.
Guetschow, working as a security guard at the school, then pushed the girl’s head into the ground and used his knee on her neck for about half a minute before handcuffing her and walking her out of the cafeteria.
Jerrel Perez, the girl’s father, has called for criminal charges against Guetschow for using a type of restraint that was banned for Wisconsin law enforcement officers last year. He said his daughter was in therapy and seeing a neurologist for her injuries.
As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Perez “and activists from Kenosha, Milwaukee and Chicago stood outside the school district on Wednesday, where they likened the incident to Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and his use of knee chokehold restraint when he murdered George Floyd”.
Floyd, an African American man, was killed in Minneapolis in May 2020, sparking protests for racial justice and against police brutality which spread across the US and around the world.
In August 2020, Kenosha saw protests which turned violent after the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer.
After the 4 March incident this year, the Kenosha school district initially placed Guetschow on paid leave, the Journal Sentinel reported. He resigned from his part-time job with the school on Tuesday.
In his resignation letter, Guetschow complained that the school district has not supported him and that the incident has placed a heavy burden on his family.
The district told the newspaper it would not provide any additional details and did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday. The Kenosah police department also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.