In Kenosha, Wisconsin, the same area where Jacob Blake was shot and paralyzed, an off-duty officer has resigned after he used violent tactics to restrain a young girl while stopping a fight in which she was involved.
Officer Shawn Guetschow, who is now embroiled in an investigation with the Kenosha Unified School District, came under fire after a viral video appeared to show him putting his knee on the neck of a 12-year-old girl at Lincoln Middle School on Mar. 4, while trying to stop a fight.
He left the position on Mar. 15, according to Tanya Ruder, chief communications officer for the Kenosha Unified School District, and while Guetschow is still employed by the police department, he is restricted to desk duty amid the investigation.
ABC News obtained a copy of his resignation letter, which cited the “mental and emotional strain” that the public attention surrounding the incident has brought on himself and his family, as well as what he says is “the lack of communication and/or support” that he has received from the district.
Community members, specifically, are calling for the district to suspend its contract with the Kenosha Police Department, while others argued that police officers are needed in school to keep students safe.
Jerrel Perez, the father of the 12-year-old student, spoke out against the officer’s tactics in a press conference last week and called for criminal charges to be filed against him.
“She’s humiliated. She’s traumatized. Every day I gotta hear, ‘Daddy, I don’t wanna go to school,’” Perez said Wednesday.
“It breaks me because I wasn’t there to help her,” he added. “I felt helpless.”
Disorderly conduct was the charge referred to juvenile court for both students involved in the fight, police told ABC News.
Attorney Drew DeVinney, who represents the girl and her father, said during a press conference last Wednesday that the family plans to take legal action against the police and the school soon.
A video of the incident taken by one of the students at the school was obtained by ABC News and shows the officer responding to a fight between two students during lunchtime in the cafeteria.
The clip is 10 seconds long, and it is unclear what happened before or after.
“We continue our investigation, paying careful attention to the entire scope of the incident. We have no further update at this time,” the Kenosha Police Department said in a statement Saturday.
Last week, the Kenosha Unified School District released a redacted version of school surveillance video of the incident.
In the video, Guetschow pushes the girl’s head to the ground and then appears to kneel on her neck for over 20 seconds.
Perez expressed outrage over the police officer’s tactics and compared the image to George Floyd, the Minnesota man who was killed when a police officer placed a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
DeVinney told ABC News earlier this month that the girl “suffered injuries to her head and neck and is currently receiving medical treatment.”
He said that since chokeholds have been banned in Wisconsin, the “incident should never have occurred.”
“The family hopes to find out why this happened so that it does not happen again to anyone else’s child,” he added.