Fri April 5, 2013
Four Omaha Police Officers fired following excessive force investigation
An investigation into alleged brutality by the Omaha Police Department has led to the firing of four officers and three more being placed on administrative leave.
Police Chief Todd Schmaderer announced the firings Friday, two weeks after a disturbance at 33rd and Seward Streets. Police were called to that location due to an ongoing parking complaint issue.
Video recorded by neighbors shows an Omaha Police officer throwing 28-year-old Octavious Johnson to the ground, arresting him, and striking him several times. Johnson, along with two of his brothers, were arrested on several charges.
Chief Schmaderer says his investigation found the officers’ actions violated policy.
"The Omaha Police Department has tremendous, dedicated professionals, but we did not carry ourselves in a manner representative of the Omaha Police Department on March 21st near 33rd and Seward Street. Many of the actions that took place that day are in violation of our policies and do not represent how I want our officers to carry themselves."
One officer was reassigned as part of the investigation. Omaha Police Officers Association president Sergeant John Wells says the fired officers are awaiting termination hearings before the city’s Personnel Board.
"Obviously, I was made aware of what the determination was going to be and so I wasn’t blindsided by what he announced today, but again at this point it would just be pure speculation on my part as to why or where we go from here, other than these officers do have rights, the right to due process, and we’ll just take it one step at a time."
Chief Schmaderer says the internal investigation is ongoing. Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine is looking in to potential criminal misconduct relating to the incidents on March 21st.
The officers’ names were not released by OPD.