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'No one is above the law,': Suspended police officer reaches plea deal, avoids jury trial

Suspended officer receives a $500 fine plus additional court fees, video shows Nov. 2021 incident
Posted at 7:51 PM, Oct 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-31 00:37:47-04
  • A Green Bay police officer will not face a jury trial originally scheduled for Nov. 1 after reaching a plea deal.
  • The officer, Matthew Knutson, will face a $500 fine plus additional court costs totaling around $1,000.
  • Video shows Knutson hit a man with his patrol vehicle. Knutson was charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle and misconduct in a public office.

A suspended Green Bay police officer who was facing charges after prosecutors said he hit a suspect with his squad car, will not have to face a trial after reaching a plea deal.
Officer Matthew Knutson, and his defense took a plea deal in court Tuesday to avoid a jury trial that would have started as soon as Wednesday.

"Knutson is here to accept responsibility," Christopher MacGillis, Knutson's defense attorney, said in court. "[I] understand that things weren't necessarily perfect but (Knutson) says, 'Listen, I understand it and I'm here to come before the court and accept responsibilities as it relates to the attempted conduct charges in count two.'"

District Attorney David Lasee said Knutson's actions were a violation of public trust but questions possible jail time.

"I don't know if there's any need to impose jail time in this case, I don't think it rises to that level," Lasee said. "I think there is a value to the community and again to Mr. Knutson to not have incarceration and that's why the state is ultimately recommending the fine here."

The plea deal agreement consists of dismissing negligent operation of a motor vehicle charges and accepting misconduct in a public office.

Knutson now faces a $500 fine plus additional court costs totaling $1,083.

NBC 26 reached out to Green Bay police to hear from Chief Chris Davis after Knutson received a fine.

The Green Bay Police Department sent out a statement on Chief Davis' behalf in part stating the following: "As police officers, we are accountable for our actions. That is how it should be. The police service is based on trust, and we must always be worthy of that trust."

Green Bay Police also include in the statement that there will findings shortly from an administrative investigation.

Prosecutors said Knutson hit a man with his patrol vehicle in Nov. 2021.

They said the man was trying to run away from a traffic stop. Video shows dash cam and body cam footage from the incident.

"I would hope you appreciate the embarrassment and shame you have brought upon yourself and your family," Judge Donald Zuidmulder said.

"No one is above the law...You have, now I believe, forfeited a career that you loved and that you dedicated your life to," Zuidmulder said. "That is, I think, a punishment that the court, really, and community acknowledges."

NBC26 reached out to both Knutson and his defense multiple times. The family of Knutson said they would not comment.

We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more information.