The Omaha Police have found themselves in the spotlight a lot lately. Most recent headlines have focused on the Omaha Police Officers Association's posting of the now famous "cursing toddler" video, which portrays a young child in diapers shouting expletives back and forth with off screen adult. But before the cursing toddler video, there was the Omaha police brutality video.
Now a sixth Omaha police officer has been fired in relationship to the "caught on video" scandal. On Wednesday, officer Dyea L. Rowland was the fifth officer fired, and then on Thursday officer John D. Payne became the sixth. It is unclear what role either one played in the incident that took place on March 21, 2013.
What appeared to be a normal parking violation call turned into a caught on video scandal. A neighbor in a nearby second floor shot the entire incident as three brothers were arrested and apparently harassed by the police officers. One of the earliest fired officers, Bradley D. Canterbury, can be seen subduing one of the men, Octavius Johnson, and apparently hitting him several times. Moments later, about 20 other police officers arrived on the scene to storm the Johnson home.
"A parking ticket turned into officers storming my house and me being thrown to the ground and put into a chokehold," said Octavius Johnson.
The biggest mistake that led to the police firings was an evidence tampering cover-up. One of the other officers, James Kinsella, actually took the memory card of Octavius' brother, Juaqez, and smashed it on the ground. Juaqez can be seen in the video asking police to stop hitting his brother and recording the incident as well. Canterbury is appealing his termination, but Kinsella is offering no resistance.
Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer admitted wrongdoing by his department.
"As I have previously stated, we did not carry ourselves in a manner representative of the Omaha Police Department in this incident. I am confident in saying the Omaha Police Department is a better department in the aftermath of this incident."Schmaderer has also voiced his disapproval of the cursing toddler video. The Johnson family is working with the ACLU to sue the Omaha Poice Department. A motion was filed on Monday.
It would appear that racial tension is running high in Omaha, Nebraska between law enforcement and minorities in the city. The department is hoping that the latest Omaha policeman to be fired will help to rebuild trust among its people.