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I-TEAM: Emails show KUSD administrators questioning KPD officer's use of force after incident with student

Posted at 6:23 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 19:56:52-04

KENOSHA, Wis. — The I-Team obtained emails between Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) Administrators questioning the Kenosha police officer's use of force policies after an off-duty officer knelt on a 12-year-old student’s neck for about 20 seconds after breaking up a fight.

Days after the incident, emails show KUSD Administrators drafting questions about whether the use of force was appropriate.

KUSD internal emails
Internal emails days after the incident show KUSD Administrators looking for answers about Kenosha Police's Use of Force.

The questions ask if the student was appropriately handcuffed and if the use of force was appropriate. They also question whether Guetschow would face felony charges for the incident if he wasn’t a police officer.

Under school guidelines, citing Wisconsin State Statute 118.305, school employees are not allowed to physically restrain a student. However, there are stipulations in the rule that law enforcement officers do not need to adhere to.

The guideline says the rules apply to all “covered individual” which is defined as “individuals employed by Kenosha Unified School District, student teachers under the supervision of a KUSD employee, employees of private schools where students are placed by KUSD, an independent contractor hired to provide services for the benefit of a KUSD school, and an individual who is employed by a person under contract with KUSD to provide services for the benefit of a KUSD school or the district.”

However, it continues, “Covered individuals do not include law enforcement or a law enforcement officer designated by the District to perform duties including enforcing laws, referring matters to law enforcement, and maintaining the security and safety of the District, is not considered a covered individual.”

But according to Guetschow’s signed request for secondary employment at KUSD, he must follow police department policies for off-duty arrests and uses of force.

Guetschow Secondary Employment document
Guetschow signed a document for secondary employment at Lincoln Middle School, agreeing to abide by Kenosha Police Policies, including Use of Force which forbids chokeholds in non-life threatning situations.

Under the Kenosha Police Standard Operating Procedures for Uses of Force, “the use of chokeholds is prohibited except in those situations where deadly force is allowed and only as a last resort.” Guetschow was breaking up a fight between unarmed middle school students.

Guetschow resigned from his position at Lincoln Middle school following the incident and was placed on desk duty during the internal investigation at the Kenosha Police Department.

KPD tells the I-Team their investigation is progressing, but don’t have anything further to share on it at this time.

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