'She's traumatized': Father, attorney speak out after off-duty officer allegedly kneels on 12-year-old girl's neck
The student's father and attorney are demanding Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) release the video captured by the cafeteria's security cameras.
The father & attorney of a 12 yo Lincoln Middle School student are asking the school district to release the full surveillance video of a security guard/off-duty Kenosha police officer allegedly kneeling on the girl’s neck while breaking up a fight on Mar. 4. Story on @CBS58 at 4 pic.twitter.com/bCZ6Q6fbX5— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) March 16, 2022
Attorney Drew DeVinney said KUSD and Kenosha Police Department (KPD) have denied his requests to see it. DeVinney expects the school's video will more clearly show what happened on that day.
The viral cellphone video from March 4 shows the security guard stepping in to break two fighting students apart. He appeared to fall backwards, with one of the girls going down with him. He's then seen kneeling on the girl's neck.
"The officer continued to push his knee into Jerrel's daughter's neck as she told him she couldn't breathe," DeVinney said. "The risk of harm for the use of a chokehold restraint is obvious. It's death, and this is especially so, considering the force used against a fragile 12-year-old neck."
The security guard was hired part-time by KUSD. He's also a Kenosha police officer.
KUSD said he was placed on paid leave prior to his resignation.
Both the KUSD and KPD said they are investigating the incident.
"The incident report confirms that the school was aware that Jerrel's daughter was placed into a prone position and then a chokehold restraint was used against her," DeVinney said.
Jerrel Perez, the student's father, said he still doesn't know the full extent of her injuries. She has not returned to school since the incident.
"She's humiliated. She's traumatized. Every day, I hear, 'daddy, I don't want to go to school,'" Jerrel Perez said.
DeVinney said KPD referred charges against the student.
"I was crushed. I felt helpless as a father. I felt like I let my daughter down," Perez said.
DeVinney said they will file a lawsuit when the family is ready.
KPD told CBS 58 they could not comment as it's still under investigation.