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Omaha PD won’t discuss ‘specifics’ in caught-on-tape case

By   /   March 25, 2013  /   10 Comments

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

OMAHA — Police officials will not release to Nebraska Watchdog bare-bones information regarding videos that are part of an investigation into the department’s latest “caught-on-tape” incident.

One video, the only one currently in circulation, shows a police officer throwing a man to the ground and hitting him several times, while a dozen other officers storm a home across the street.

Police caught-on-tape near 33rd and Seward last Thursday

Police caught-on-tape near 33rd and Seward last Thursday

Asked by Nebraska Watchdog how many other videos are involved — just the number, not the content — OPD has refused to answer.

The decision heightens concern that the department will stonewall key information regarding charges of excessive force at 33rd and Seward last Thursday.

The incident was recorded by the public (see video below).

The Nebraska ACLU is demanding more transparency and has renewed its call to have the U.S. Justice Department “conduct an external investigation of the Omaha Police Department.”

Nebraska Watchdog’s question followed a Saturday news conference, where Chief Todd Schmaderer said the investigation would include “gathering all video evidence, police cruiser or otherwise.”

Nebraska Watchdog emailed spokesperson Lt. Darci Tierney:

Nebraska Watchdog: How many other videos from the scene are in the police department’s possession? How many citizen videos/how many police videos (cruiser cam)?

Lt. Tierney: We are unable to talk about specifics on the case.

During the news conference Schmaderer refused to take any questions. He said due to the city’s contract with the Omaha Police Union he was “unable to discuss the specifics of the personnel investigation.”

He asked members of the news media to submit any questions about the investigation to Tierney.

“And I will get back to you with an answer if and when I can,” said Schmaderer.

Several mayoral candidates have released statements on the incident.

Republicans Dave Nabity and Dan Welch noted the need for openness.

Nabity has repeated his call for an independent police auditor.

Welch says, “The integrity of the report, and transparency of the investigation, is as important as the outcome.”

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org

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Joe Jordan

  • Bam

    There won’t be any comment until they’re certain everyone is telling the same lie.

  • Kevin

    How many of these events happen without any witness video. Far more than we probably know about.

  • XCNCLMN

    $5.00 says the camera in the police cruisers were turned off.

  • mosloehand

    Here is the first problem you got UNION, Second problem Government employees. Like already said this happens every day here and around this County. What I have seen here in City’s, County’s all over the last ten to fifteen years is the hiring of a lot of Military rejects and people that have been bully’s all their life. I should say there are some good cops but most of them are on the State level in which the qualifications are a lot different. Years ago I used to belong to a large fraternal organization down town that to my father in-law that a lot of cops and lawyers that started to join, I sat around a listen about stuff like this every day and they feed of it like a bunch of hounds, bragging who got the best shot and how they try to piss them off to get them to do something. After a year I just couldn’t listen to any more of I dropped my membership. The Union wont allow it but the first thing that should be done is put these guys in front of a lie detector the next day after a complaint.

  • Pat Boyle

    I have some friends that are cops and sheriff deputies. That one act can’t dissolve all the good things they do on a daily basis.
    When I was a younger man, I’d be screaming a yelling for heads. Now that I’m older, I just don’t give the police any reason to pull me over. If they do then I have it coming. There isn’t anything I can do if a cop is having a bad night. It isn’t customer service we’re talking about, they have tough jobs, high stress jobs, that most of us couldn’t & wouldn’t do.
    I can’t defend what that cop did. It was wrong from what I’ve seen. Something better will come out of this though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leo-L-Ludwig/100000662648056 Leo L Ludwig

    Is this the entire Police Dept??

  • Kevin

    Having a “bad day” does not excuse punching someone in the head. Using that logic, the fast food worker can spit in peoples food when they are having a bad day, or punch then when they ask for no ketchup on their kids’ happy meal burger.

  • Jazzee

    amen

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fuller-Malarkey/100003075314056 Fuller Malarkey

    Anonymous is on the right track. They’ve gotten into the cop personnel data base. Post up the home addresses of every cop that wants to be a thumper.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fuller-Malarkey/100003075314056 Fuller Malarkey