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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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