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Family of 12-year-old Kenosha girl intends to sue officer who kneeled on student's neck

Posted at 5:51 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 19:21:00-04

KENOSHA, Wis. — The family of a 12-year-old Kenosha girl intends to sue the officer who kneeled on the student's neck during a March 4 incident at Lincoln Middle School.

The family's attorney provided TMJ4 with a copy of the Notice of Claim the family is serving on Officer Shawn Guetschow, Chief Eric Larsen, the City of Kenosha, and the Kenosha Unified School District.

"My clients, Jerrell Perez and his daughter, Jane Doe, are taking the first step toward filing a lawsuit against Officer Guetschow, the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha Unified School District," attorney Drew J. DeVinney said in a statement Wednesday. "We are taking this step in response to the Kenosha County District Attorney’s decision to criminally charge Jane Doe."

The Notice of Claim provided to TMJ4 News also states the student suffered a "traumatic brain injury" following the incident.

"Jane Doe suffered a traumatic brain injury, the outcome and consequence of which is still unknown at her young age," the paperwork says. "She is the victim of police brutality and now, what seems to be a concerted effort to silence her with baseless charges. The absence of accountability for a grown man that choked this child is striking. It is for this reason, and on behalf of all who seek meaningful change, that the claimants are taking this first step to hold these defendants responsible."

The Kenosha Unified School District previously released surveillance video showing a security guard and off-duty police officer, Guetschow, putting his knee onto the neck of a student after a fight broke out at Lincoln Middle School on March 4.

An incident report obtained by TMJ4 News also indicates the student was "engaged in a physical altercation with another student."

A lawyer representing the student's family previously released a statement, alleging the officer pushed the student's head into the floor and then knelt with the full weight of his body onto her neck for an "unconscionable duration." He then handcuffed her and "violently lifted her" from the floor, they said.

Guetschow has since resigned from the Kenosha School District. He has eight years of law enforcement experience, the last four of which were with the Kenosha Police Department (KPD). During his time with KPD, Guetschow filed three uses of force, all of which were incidents he used his taser on adults.

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