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KXAN

Critics are questioning the police response to an unpermitted parade in support of President Donald Trump through the heart of Omaha. Witnesses say the Sunday afternoon parade of trucks and vehicles flying Trump flags and signs blocked traffic and ran through red lights and that cross traffic was blocked by parade participants on motorcycles. Police tell the Omaha World-Herald that parade participants had left by the time officers responded to reports of the parade along Dodge Street. Police confirmed caravan participants had not secured a parade permit beforehand.

ACLU of Nebraska

A lawsuit accuses Omaha police of using excessive force when they responded to protests against police brutality and racial injustice in Nebraska's largest city earlier this year with pepper balls and mass arrests. The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska filed a federal lawsuit Monday challenging police tactics. City officials said they believe police acted properly, and previously, they have defended the arrests made during protests because police believed the gatherings had the potential to become violent and in some cases violence had already broken out.

The Downtown Improvement District Association in Omaha says it's hearing false reports of businesses being told to close ahead of possible demonstrations linked to the James Scurlock grand jury hearing. The association says the false reports are being spread by agitators, not the association, city, protest organizers or Omaha Police. Scurlock was allegedly shot to death by bar owner Jake Gardner during a fight outside his downtown bar.

Omaha World Herald

Omaha police have revised a policy on arresting protesters following the mass arrest of more than 100 peaceful protesters last month. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Mayor Jean Stothert unveiled the policy change during a news conference Tuesday to discuss coronavirus relief funding. Stothert said the revised policy requires officers to use body cameras to get pictures of each individual they arrest rather than doing mass arrests.

Protests Emerge In Omaha Following Wisconsin Shooting

Aug 25, 2020
Omaha World Herald

Omaha residents are speaking out against the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Protests took place last night at 72nd and Dodge and in the Old Market.  Demonstrators held signs and chanted against police brutality.  Video of the incident from Sunday shows Blake being shot when he walked away from officers and opened his car door.

Omaha World Herald

Omaha school teachers are continuing their call for a city mask mandate.  More than 200 educators gathered yesterday at Memorial Park to demand that city and state leaders pass a public facemask order.  Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says he is opposed to mask mandates, and he added that policymakers should decide if schools should reopen to students.

Lincoln Journal Star

Nebraska residents are showing their support for people who work in the meatpacking industry.  Union members, community advocates and church groups were among those who rallied outside the state Capitol yesterday. Demonstrators called on state lawmakers to take steps to protect meatpacking workers from the COVID-19 pandemic by requiring companies to provide protective gear, ensure social distancing and other measures.  

70+ Protestors Arrested After Saturday Night Demonstration

Jul 27, 2020

Dozens of people are taken into custody during a protest in Omaha against racial injustice and police brutality. The protest, which was held in support of demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, started Saturday night near Turner and Farnam.  Authorities say the protesters began walking into traffic lanes on Farnam and started throwing barricades at police cruisers.  More than 75 protesters were cited on charges including failure to disperse and obstructing traffic.  

Omaha World Herald

Most of the 250 people arrested in Omaha during last month’s protests over the death of George Floyd won’t be charged. The Omaha World-Herald reports that those who were arrested were accused of minor offenses that included violating curfew, failure to disperse and unlawful assembly. City Prosecutor Matt Kuhse’s office declined to file charges in about 75% of the cases because the suspect didn’t have a criminal history. Of the remaining cases, the City Prosecutor’s Office offered diversion in roughly 80% and recommended a $50 fine for about 20% of the people.

Weekend brings variety of protests in Omaha

Jul 13, 2020

A Back the Blue rally took place at Memorial Park on Saturday. The event featured songs and speeches by law enforcement supporters.  Meanwhile, dozens of people also showed up at the rally to support the Black Lives Matter movement and to call for defunding or abolishing the police.

KOLN

A billboard at the intersection of 72nd and Dodge streets symbolizes demonstrations marked by racial justice advocates. Justice for James Omaha revealed the billboard July 2nd. That Thursday marked the 27th day of demonstrations against the Douglas County Attorney who activists say determined James Scurlock's death did not deserve justice. County Attorney Don Kleine said the death of 22-year-old Scurlock by bar owner Jake Gardner was out of self-defense and video evidence shows the decision was based on the information the office had at the time.

Protestors Call For Iowa State Capitol Statuary's Removal

Jul 6, 2020

Activists are calling for the removal of multiple monuments at the Iowa State Capitol.  Some activists say the monuments represent a history of racism and violence against native Americans.  One of the pieces is a statue called Pioneer which depicts a Native American at the feet of a white settler.  The protestors are also asking for the Christopher Columbus monument to be removed.

Protestors Stage Sit-In At Mayor's Office

Jul 1, 2020
WOWT

Protesters are making their voices heard in Omaha.  A group called the Progressive Black Led Allied Coalition sat in protest outside Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert's office yesterday.  Demonstrators say their goal is to get justice for all people.  The demands include the arrest of Jake Gardner, who was released from police custody after the killing of James Scurlock during a protest as well as having all charges dropped against protestors who violated curfew.

Stothert Announces Investigation Into Cafe Closure

Jun 26, 2020

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert is calling for an investigation into protests that led to the closure of a restaurant.  Stothert announced yesterday that police are looking into allegations that protesters pounded on the windows of the 11-Worth Cafe, blocked traffic and attempted to extort money from the owners.  The restaurant near 24th and Leavenworth closed after protests earlier this month.  

Protests are continuing in Omaha following the death of George Floyd.  Nearly 75 demonstrators gathered outside the 11-Worth Cafe at 24th and Leavenworth Streets yesterday to speak out against a Facebook post made by the son of the restaurant's owner.  Demonstrators also spoke out against a breakfast dish on the restaurant's menu named after Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee and demanded that the item be renamed.

Norfolk Daily News

Protests are continuing in Omaha following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.  Thousands of demonstrators took part in a march to Memorial Park yesterday.  A Black Lives Matter rally took place at the Park.  The protestors called for an end to racial injustice and police brutality.  Public outrage over the death of George Floyd is spilling over into small town America. Rallies have surfaced in places such as Norfolk, Nebraska, and Sioux City, Iowa, drawing hundreds of people in communities that are mostly white.

Nebraska lawmakers will hold two hearings next week to hear public input about law enforcement and racial equity in the state. Members of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee will convene Monday at the Scott Conference Center in Omaha’s Aksarben Village. They’ll meet Tuesday at the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications office in Lincoln. Both events will be live-streamed online and on television by NET, the state’s public television service. Sen.

Fremont Tribune

A day after she rescinded a curfew, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert announced she would reinstate the restriction for Friday night and Saturday night. Stothert says she took the action after learning from police of five events planned Friday and a large gathering expected Saturday to mark the death of George Floyd after his arrest by Minneapolis police. The curfew will be stretch from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on both nights. The Mayor on Thursday called the move “unfortunate but necessary."  The move came a day after Stothert said Wednesday she would rescind the curfew.

Demonstrations are continuing in Omaha following the death of George Floyd.  A group of protestors marched toward the Old Market last night. Nearly 125 people took part in a peaceful protest in North Omaha earlier in the day where a group of local pastors called for making a positive change through community involvement and peaceful means.

Old Market Shooter Evicted; Bars Will Not Reopen

Jun 3, 2020

The Omaha bar owner involved in a deadly shooting during protests is being evicted.  The "Omaha World Herald" reports that the property owner of The Hive and The Gatsby in the Old Market says the businesses will not be allowed to reopen and bar owner Jacob Gardner has been evicted.  Gardner shot and killed 22-year-old James Scurlock on Saturday near 12th and Harney Streets.  The Douglas County Attorney's Office announced this week that Gardner will not be charged at this time, and the shooting was ruled to be in self-defense.

 

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert has been granted emergency powers.  City council members voted yesterday to give the mayor the ability to extend a state of emergency declaration including a curfew for up to a week.   The council approved the measure on a five-to-one vote with Councilman Chris Jerram voting "no." Council members also voted yesterday to pass a resolution condemning the actions of the Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd's death.  The resolution noted that the city council grieves with Floyd's family for their loss and joins them in their call for justice and peace.

Gov. Pete Ricketts says Nebraska could see another flare-up of coronavirus cases because of the demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, but he concluded that allowing protesters to peacefully vent was more important than concerns about the pandemic. His comments came as new, lighter virus restrictions went into effect throughout most of the state. The restrictions approved by Ricketts allow bars, zoos, swimming pools and other public venues to reopen, with crowd limits based on a venue’s occupancy.

An Omaha bar owner won’t be charged  in connection with the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man during weekend protests in downtown Omaha over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, authorities said Monday. The shooting occurred at around 11 p.m. Saturday in the city’s Old Market area and within a couple of blocks of where protesters had gathered. Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said Monday that Jake Gardner, who owns two bars near where the shooting happened, fired the fatal shot during a scuffle with protesters outside one of his bars.

Demonstrations are continuing in Omaha in response to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.  Hundreds gathered in the Old Market yesterday for a fourth day of protests, and Deputy Police Chief Ken Kanger joined demonstrators in a march.  At one point, someone threw a water bottle at officers and pepper balls were deployed.  Police say there were two gun-related arrests, and at least a dozen others were taken into custody. Omaha, Bellevue, La Vista, Springfield and Papillion all announced 8:00 p.m. curfews;  Lincoln implemented a 9:00 p.m.