Kenosha, WI

Surveillance Footage Captures Off-Duty Kenosha Police Officer Perform Chokehold and Kneels on 12-Year-Old Girl's Neck

Kisha Walker
Kenosha Police

*Information reported by NY Post and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been used as a source for this report.

KENOSHA, Wisconsin -

The Kenosha Unified School District released redacted surveillance footage Friday March 18, 2022, that shows off-duty Kenosha Police Officer Shawn Guetschow trying to break up a childhood fight between two adolescent girls during their lunchtime break at the Lincoln Middle School before he tussles with the child and subsequently applies a brief chokehold restraint on her. Guetschow then kneels on the young girl's neck while handcuffing her on March 4, 2022.

The young girl's parent, Jerrel Perez, has been calling on the school district to release the footage of the incident. Perez argues the district attorney should bring charges against Kenosha officer Shawn Guetschow for placing his knee on Perez's 12-year-old daughter's neck to restrain her, a move, Perez states, that was banned for Wisconsin law enforcement officers last year. 

Surveillance footage appears to show a student approach Perez’s daughter, before Perez’s daughter pushes the other student and a fight ensues. The two students, one in black and the other in gray, are shoving each other in the lunchroom of Lincoln Middle School before Guetschow and another staffer sprint over and pull the students apart while the two students are hitting one another.

Guetschow, a Kenosha officer who worked as a security officer at the school, then pulls the girl in the white (Jerrel Perez's daughter) down with his arm around her neck, pushes her head against the floor and holds his knee on her neck before he handcuffs her and walks her out of the cafeteria, video shows. Perez said his daughter is in therapy and seeing a neurologist for her injuries and has been medically excused from school for two weeks. Perez's attorney, Drew Devinney said Wednesday March 16, 2022, that his client was the subject of bullying and was defending herself. Further, he said "at no point did Jerrel's daughter push or strike at this officer." He also said Perez's daughter yelled out she couldn't breathe while the officer had his knee on her neck, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Devinney, said Guetschow was acting in an on-duty capacity once he placed Perez's daughter in a chokehold. He and his client are calling for criminal charges for the officer. The Kenosha district attorney hasn't announced charges for any of the parties involved, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Devinney said they will be filing suit against the officer, school district and police department. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the school district initially placed Guetschow on paid leave. He resigned from his part-time security job with the school on Tuesday March 15, 2022, states Tanya Ruder, KUSD's chief communications officer. "As it appears that this incident may lead to litigation, the district will provide no further details at this time," Ruder said.

In his resignation letter, Guetschow called out the school district for lack of support and said the incident has placed a heavy burden on his family.

"Given the events that have taken place and the escalated attention this incident at Lincoln Middle School has caused in the community, mental and emotional strain it has bought upon my family, and the lack of communication and or support I have received from the district, I can no longer continue my employment with the Kenosha Unified School District," Guetschow wrote to Kenosha Superintendent Beth Ormseth.

The Kenosha Police Department did not respond to questions about the incident or Guetschow.

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Kisha Walker is a published Author, Writer, Poet, Ghostwriter, and has been an Activist against Police Brutality for the past 16 years. Kisha has also contributed to society by engaging in civic communal activities such as supporting the Political processes of American Democracy. With respect for the integrity of journalism, Kisha will report on happenings within NYC, as well as nationwide news that may have relevance to the community. Kisha has added an interactive True Crime to segment called "Justice Update", where we will take a look at previous cases and research the progress made in the case, and YOU the Reader can decide by simply commenting "Served" or "Not", below in the comments. Hope you join in!

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