Family of Girl Who Got TBI From Chokehold Sues Police, School District



  • On March 4, a 12-year-old was restrained in an illegal chokehold by a police officer following a fight at school.
  • The family is suing the police and school district after the girl suffered a traumatic brain injury in the incident.
  • Officer Shawn Guetschow resigned from his job at the school but still works for the police.

The family of a 12-year-old who sustained a traumatic brain injury after she was restrained in an illegal chokehold by a school security officer is suing the Kenosha police department and school district for damages following the incident.

“On March 4, 2022, an adult man lost his temper and choked a child until she suffered a traumatic brain injury. Officer Shawn Guetschow violated Wisconsin criminal and civil law when he held his knee against the back of the neck of a twelve-year-old girl at Lincoln Middle School,” read documents shared with Insider by the family’s lawyer, Drew DeVinney. 

Guetschow is seen in a security video from the school cafeteria breaking up a fight between two students by using the chokehold maneuver for nearly 25 seconds on 12-year-old Jane Doe before handcuffing her and removing her from the room. 

“Officer Shawn Guetschow told investigating officers that he ‘blacked out’ and does not remember pulling Jane Doe to the floor, smashing her head into the hard tile surface, or getting on top of her and choking her with his knee,” the document shared with Insider added in a footnote. 

The family intends to sue officer Guetschow, as well as the chief of police, city clerk, and Kenosha Unified School District for the maximum allowable compensatory and punitive damages following the incident, which led to a TBI “the outcome and consequence of which is still unknown at her young age,” according to the documents shared with Insider.

Jane Doe is also being charged with an unspecified crime related to the incident by Guetschow’s request, according to the document. 

“By pursuing charges against Jane Doe, the Kenosha Police Department is attempting to criminalize an innocent child to justify the unjustifiable,” the document shared with Insider read. “We fear this is a concerted effort to silence a victim of police brutality and to deflect blame. Jane Doe is an innocent victim and will defend herself against these baseless charges.”

The Kenosha Police Department and School District did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 



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