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More Omaha police fired in ‘caught on tape’ case

By   /   January 9, 2014  /   No Comments

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

Just days after a federal lawsuit accused Omaha police of excessive force in a widely publicized (see video below) “caught on tape” tape case, two more officers have been fired bringing the total to six.

33rd and Seward, March21, 2013

33rd and Seward, March 21, 2013

The latest firings came Wednesday and Thursday, according to a statement from Omaha police.

“As I have previously stated, we did not carry ourselves in a manner representative of the Omaha Police Department in this incident,” said Police Chief Todd Schmaderer.

Last March 21 a routine parking problem near 33rd and Seward in North Omaha escalated into a must-see six minute recording.

The video—shot by a member of the public— shows a police officer (see video below) throwing a man to the ground and hitting him several times, while a dozen other officers storm a home across the street.

Johnson family

Johnson family

According to ACLU Nebraska which filed the suit Monday, 32 police descended on 33rd and Seward and violated the rights of brothers Juaquez and Demetrius Johnson, their mother Sharon and two other family members.

“A parking ticket turned into officers storming my house and me being thrown to the ground and put into a chokehold,” said Octavius Johnson.

“Pulling over twenty officers away from other parts of the city should sound an alarm for taxpayers,” says Amy Miller of the ACLU.

But citing a national accreditation award issued to OPD in November, Schmaderer sees lessons learned.

“I am confident in saying the Omaha Police Department is a better department in the aftermath of this incident,” said the chief.

The first four firings came within a few weeks of the incident. One of those four has appealed his firing, a ruling is pending.

The last two officers are awaiting a pre-termination hearing.

Contact Joe Jordan at [email protected] and listen to Joe every Monday morning at 7:40 on KFAB radio in Omaha.

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Joe formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.