A Green Bay Police Officer has been charged with felony misconduct after he hit a man in 2021 with his squad vehicle following a traffic check.
The Brown County District Attorney’s Office also charged Green Bay Officer Matthew Knutson, who has been with the department for 13 years, with negligent operating a vehicle. This is a misdemeanor. Knutson has been on a paid administrative leave pending an investigation since October.
Knutson, according to the complaint made by the plaintiff, stopped a car for failing to yield to a vehicle that appeared to have a right-of-way. Video from dashcams and body cameras of the officer and Knutson’s pursuit of the car that was pulled over at a news conference on Tuesday shows the driver running as Knutson chases him in his squad and another officer pursues the driver on foot.
Knutson’s car knocked the man to the ground, where he was then arrested by police.
Knutson wrote in his incident report that the driver fled “directly infront of me,” and he accidentally hit him with the squad car he was driving, which he claimed was traveling less than 5mph.
The complaint claims that the video evidence doesn’t show the man running in front of Knutson’s squad car.
Green Bay Police Chief Chris Davis stated in a press release that “we take all allegations against Green Bay Police Officers seriously and am committed to treating them in a fair, objective and thorough manner.”
Davis didn’t say whether the man hit by the patrol vehicle was injured at the press conference. According to the complaint, the man complained about leg pain after being struck by the patrol car.
The charge of misconduct in office is punishable by a maximum of 3.5 years imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000. The other charge is punishable by up to 3.5 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
Knutson was suspended from his job for 30 days earlier in 2018, following an internal investigation which determined that he had sent “inappropriate messages” using computers used by police officers, and that he had been slow to cooperate with a separate investigation into harassment complaints against other officers.
Knutson’s attorney was not listed in the online database. He will make his first appearance on May 17.