Green Bay police officer to be charged after vehicle hits suspect during chase

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A Green Bay police officer is expected to be charged in connection with his actions during a traffic stop in 2021.

The police department says Officer Matthew Knutson, a 13-year veteran of the department, made a traffic stop on the city's southeast side in November 2021. A 47-year-old Green Bay man was pulled over for failure to yield right of way.

Knutson is expected to be charged with a felony count of misconduct in public office and a misdemeanor charge of negligent operation of a vehicle.

"We take all allegations of misconduct by Green Bay police officers and employees seriously, and I'm committed to handling these allegations in a way that is objective, thorough, and fair to everyone involved," said Chief Chris Davis of the Green Bay Police Department.

In October 2022, the Brown County District Attorney's Office notified police of concerns around Knutson's actions during the traffic stop.

Chief Davis says the police department began an internal investigation.

He's not sure why it took the department almost a year to be aware of the situation.

"That is one of the questions that I'm going to want to get the answer to in the administrative inquiry of this situation," said Davis.

The police department began an internal investigation, comparing body cam and dash cam video to Knutson's official reports. The initial investigation uncovered problems with how Knutson's patrol vehicle hit the suspect during a foot chase, forcing the suspect to the ground.

Chief Davis was asked if the department is facing a lawsuit from the suspect.

"I won't comment on whether there's any litigation or anything like that for obvious reasons," said Davis.

According to online court records, the suspect was charged with Resisting or Obstructing an Officer and Operating While Revoked on the night of the incident.

But the charges were later dismissed in October 2022, about a week before the police internal investigation began.

Brown County District Attorney David Lasee says those charges were dropped as part of the resolution of several cases involving the suspect.

As for Officer Knutson, he was previously suspended for 30 days in 2018 following an investigation into bullying and harassment within the police department.

"In employee discipline cases, one of the things that I will consider when, if we get to the point where there is a sustained allegation, in this case, it would be appropriate for me to consider previous disciplinary history in making a corrective action decision in this case, but we're not at that point in the process," said Davis.

Knutson was placed on paid administrative leave on October 22, and still remains on it, as the investigation remains ongoing.

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