OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Modnay afternoon, a jury acquitted former Omaha Police officer Scotty Payne of felony assault charges in the death of Zachary BearHeels.
Following the verdict, Payne broke down in tears and hugged his lawyers.
The jury spent much of its time reviewing surveillence video of the incident at the Bucky's on 60th and Center last June. Video showed Payne using a stun gun repeatedly on BearHeels.
"I've yet to work with a police officer who intentionally goes out trying to hurt people," Anthony Conner from the Omaha Police Officer's Association said. "We're here to help people and that's our job. We're trying to save people, that's our job - and I thank that's what the jury saw today."
"It just breaks my heart right now, because that was my baby," BearHeels' mother Renita Chalepah said moments after the jury read its verdict.
BearHeels was schitzophrenic and bipolar and the case has caused OPD to change thew ay it deals with mentally ill suspects.