Kenosha, WI – The parents of a 6th grader at Lincoln Middle School have compared a Kenosha police officer’s takedown of their 12-year-old daughter on Friday to the death of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis police (video below).
The incident occurred on March 4 when an off-duty Kenosha police officer, contracted part-time by the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD), tried to break up a fight between two girls in the lunchroom, WISN reported.
Police said that multiple school district employees who were monitoring lunch tried to intervene in the fight.
Cell phone video filmed by a student showed a girl in a rainbow-colored hoodie striking the officer repeatedly as he pushed and pulled the two girls apart.
Then the girl seemed to fall on the officer, who fell backwards and smacked his head on a bench.
The video showed he sat back up immediately and grabbed the girl in the hoodie.
The officer flipped the girl onto her stomach as she aggressively fought back, the video showed.
The video showed other students trying to attack from behind the officer as he struggled to control the girl on the floor.
The officer put his weight on the student’s back to try to subdue her and the video showed he had his knee on her neck at least briefly during the struggle.
Students posted cell phone videos of the brawl to social media and the community reacted with outrage, WISN reported.
“That man treated my daughter like she was a felon. Like she was an armed felon,” the father of the girl who was subdued, Jerel Perez, told WISN.
“No weapon in her hand,” Perez continued. “There was no reason for that force to put her neck… put his knee on her neck when obviously the country has witnessed the George Floyd situation. When I see that video, that’s all I see, that’s all I can think about was George Floyd.”
He said his daughter had suffered a sprained neck and a head injury as a result of the incident, WISN reported.
Perez said that his daughter wouldn’t be returning to the same school.
“Just imagine if he stayed on her neck a few more seconds or a minute and he would’ve killed my daughter,” he complained. “This cannot keep happening.”
Perez said his daughter could also be facing a juvenile disorderly conduct charge for her behavior, WISN reported.
The police officer in the video has not been suspended or placed on leave in connection with the incident.
“We are keenly aware of the significant sensitivity surrounding the photo,” Kenosha police told WISN in a statement.
Police said they were investigating the incident “while being cautious not to make conclusions based off of a small piece of information shared on social media.”
Kenosha police and the school district said they were working together to determine if the officer had violated any policies or procedures during the incident, WISN reported.
“It is the highest priority of those officers who work in our schools to provide a safe and secure learning environment for our children and staff,” the police department said in its statement.
KUSD has placed the officer on paid administrative leave while their investigation is conducted, according to WISN.
The girl’s family has hired an attorney to represent them in the matter, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content:
Video of Kenosha middle school fight appears to show an off-duty Kenosha police officer subdue a student by placing his knee on her neck.
— Drake Bentley (@DrakeBentleyMJS) March 8, 2022