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oldmarketlofts.com

Omaha police are investigating after downtown pedestrians were forced to dodge deck chairs, tables and bricks thrown from a rooftop. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the incident happened Saturday night when items were thrown from the roof of the nine-story Old Market Lofts apartments. Omaha resident Lisa Brauer told the newspaper on Monday that she was nearly struck by several objects. Brauer, who works for Park Omaha, was checking parking meters when she was nearly hit by a rock. That was followed by a metal table, a metal chair and a grill rack, all landing within inches of her.

New York Post

Police say a Creighton University baseball administrator was found dead Thursday in the yard of an Omaha home that he had just sold to a realty company. The Omaha World-Herald reports that 37-year-old Christopher Gradoville died from multiple gunshot wounds. Police say they have arrested a tenant in the home, 43-year-old Ladell Thornton, on suspicion of first-degree murder, use of a weapon to commit a felony and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Gradoville was the director of baseball operations at Creighton University.

Shane T. McCoy

The U.S. Marshals Service says a four-month police operation targeting gang activity in Omaha and surrounding communities led to more than 230 arrests and the seizure of dozens of guns and more than $800,000 worth of illegal narcotics. The service said in a news release Tuesday that Operation Triple Beam was conducted from May through August and was led by the U.S. Marshals Service's Metro Fugitive Task Force and the Omaha and Lincoln police departments. The operation was part of a national effort developed by the Marshal’s Service to reduce gang violence.

Amazon

Omaha police are investigating so-called "Kool-Aid man" vandalism incidents.  Police say a group of youths have run through as many as 15 fences in west Omaha while performing the stunt.  The "Kool-Aid" man stunt has been popularized on TikTok.  Similar incidents have also been reported in Douglas and Sarpy counties.   

NOISE Omaha

Seven people are under arrest after a group left pig heads outside the Omaha police union building.  Police say the incident took place on Saturday when dozens of people gathered in the Omaha Police Officer's Association's parking lot near 134th Street and Cryer Avenue.  Authorities say the group of demonstrators left three severed pig heads wearing police hats in the parking lot, and those who were arrested face charges including failure to disperse, trespassing and unlawful assembly.  The incident took place following what was advertised as a "pig roast" at Montclair Park.

Tampa Bay Times

Police in Omaha have issued a public warning about counterfeit painkillers circulating in the area that investigators say have led to several overdose deaths. Police say the counterfeit Oxycodone pills actually contain the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Police say the illegally pressed pills range in color from blue to green and have an “M” imprinted on one side and “30” imprinted on the other side. The pills are intended to mimic a 30 mg dose of Oxycodone.

Washington Times

The top prosecutor serving Omaha and surrounding areas in Douglas County has convened a single grand jury to investigate more than a dozen in-custody deaths — including two people killed by Omaha police. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine is leading the process and that the unusually high number of case represents a backlog as courts sought to avoid convening jurors and others during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Among the cases the grand jury will consider is the Nov.

Omaha Police Chief Defers Retirement

Mar 18, 2021
Omaha World Herald

Omaha's police chief wants to stay on the job. Chief Todd Schmaderer is deferring his retirement eligibility and wants to continue in his role for up to five more years. Mayor Jean Stothert's office made the announcement on Wednesday.  Schmaderer was eligible to retire last month after 25 years on the force in Omaha. He's been chief of police since 2012.

WOWT

A 25-year-old Iowa man has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for having a Molotov cocktail during racial injustice protests in downtown Omaha last year. Steven Fitch, of Council Bluffs, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court for unlawful possession of destructive device. He will serve three years of supervised release after his prison term. Prosecutors said Omaha police found Fitch with a Molotov cocktail in his front pants pocket during protests on May 31. The device contained a clear liquid inside a bottle with a red rag attached.

Omaha World Herald

A judge has dismissed cases against 25 people who were arrested and jailed for blocking traffic at a bridge during a summer racial injustice protest in Omaha. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Douglas County Judge Marcena Hendrix ruled Wednesday that Omaha’s ordinance prohibiting the obstruction of a highway or street is “overly broad” and “clearly regulates protected speech.” At issue was a demonstration on July 25 over the lack of charges against a white bar owner in the death of a 22-year-old Black man. As part of the demonstration, protesters blocked the Farnam Street bridge.

Omaha World Herald

Omaha’s police chief said two officers acted appropriately when a Black man was fatally shot during a Nebraska traffic stop last week because the man repeatedly didn’t comply with their commands, but video of the confrontation won’t be immediately released. Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said Monday the officers followed department policy when Kenneth Jones was shot last Thursday because he reached for a gun in his waistband and disregarded officers’ commands.

WOWT

Protesters gathered in downtown Omaha for a second night to demand the release of video of a fatal police shooting of a Black man during a Nebraska traffic stop last week. The group of demonstrators gathered outside Omaha Police headquarters again Saturday to press police to release footage of Thursday’s shooting death of Kenneth Jones. Police have said that Jones, who was 35, reached for a gun in his waistband before he was shot. Before the protest, police released the names of the two officers involved in the traffic stop who will remain on leave while the incident is investigated.

ACLU Takes Aim At OPD With Lawsuit

Nov 11, 2020

The Omaha Police Department is facing a lawsuit.  The ACLU of Nebraska has filed a lawsuit against the police department on behalf of the organization, Problac, stemming from the arrests of 120 people after they marched from the Old Market to Midtown in late July. A federal judge is currently considering an injunction in the case that would temporarily ban Omaha police from using pepper balls and other chemicals on demonstrators. 

OPD Releases Results Of Civil Unrest Report

Oct 29, 2020

The Omaha Police Department is revealing the findings of its civil unrest report.  Police Chief Todd Schmaderer outlined the report yesterday and noted that the department needs to do better in responding to protests and civil unrest.  Schmaderer says the police department carried itself in a professional manner during 60 different events in the city this past summer.  The police chief says better communication is needed between officers and with crowds.

Yahoo

Police in Omaha, Nebraska, say at least seven people who attended an airport rally for President Donald Trump were taken to hospitals. Many of the estimated 25,000 at Tuesday night's event at Eppley Airfield were left stranded miles from their parked cars in freezing weather. Omaha police said in a written statement that first responders dealt with 30 people for medical reasons and seven were taken to hospitals. Most of the attendees parked in remote lots and were shuttled to the event in buses.

ACLU-Funded Billboard Demands Justice For Bearheels

Oct 19, 2020
NET

A new billboard in Omaha is calling for justice for a man who died in police custody.  The billboard at 53rd and Center features Zachary Bear Heels, who died in Omaha police custody in 2017 after he was shocked 12 times and punched in the head.  None of the officers involved in the incident were convicted, but one officer lost his job.  The ACLU funded the billboard.

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.

OPD Avoids Budget Cut

Aug 19, 2020

The Omaha Police Department will not have its budget cut.  City Council members voted yesterday to turn down Council President Chris Jerram's proposed two-million-dollar cut to the police budget.  Under the proposal, the two-million-dollars would have gone towards mental health treatment, rehabilitation and employment services.  Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert says she would have vetoed the budget cut.

 

Omaha Reaches Settlement In Bearheels Case

Aug 14, 2020

The City of Omaha recently reached a settlement with the family of a man who died in police custody in 2017. Officials say the city agreed to pay 550-thousand dollars to the mother and estate of Zachary Bear Heels. Bear Heels was a mentally ill man who died in 2017 after he was tased by officers a dozen times during a struggle. One of the officers involved in the incident was fired, while three others were disciplined.

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.  

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.

OPD Investigating Hateful Graffiti Found At Zorinsky Lake

Jul 2, 2020
Fox 42 News

Omaha police are investigating a possible hate crime.  City officials learned on Monday that swastikas and other racist symbols and language were painted on the grass at Zorinsky Lake Park.  Mayor Jean Stothert says city crews immediately removed the graffiti.  Stothert says the city's new hate intimidation ordinance could apply in the case, and anyone convicted could receive an increased sentence.

In The Wake Of Protests; Reforms Within OPD

Jun 26, 2020

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Chief of Police Todd Schmaderer are announcing changes within the city's police department.  Officers are now forbidden from using their knee to pin a person down by their neck.  They're also required to intervene and report when a fellow officer is not taking the appropriate actions.  The updated policy was announced yesterday.  Officer training will begin next month.

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.

OPD Reacts To George Floyd Incident

May 28, 2020

(Omaha, NE)  --  Omaha police are reacting to an incident involving an African-American man in Minnesota who died after an officer knelt on his neck.  Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer says he and his deputy chiefs reviewed the video of George Floyd being detained by Minneapolis police.  Floyd died after the incident.  Omaha police say the Minneapolis officers' actions in the Floyd case are not consistent with their training and protocol of the profession. 

Pandemic Shifts OPD's Priorities

Apr 14, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting the Omaha Police Department's workload.  Authorities say the number of disturbances and domestic violence calls have increased slightly over the last two weeks.  Child abuse calls have decreased by 25-percent, which police say is due in part to schools being closed. The OPD is also issuing citations to those who do not obey the mayor's decision to close Omaha's public parks. Mayor Jean Stothert  officially closed the parks April 8th with barricades and signs posted the following day in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the area.