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Johnson wants more power for Citizen Complaint Review Board

Posted at 4:03 PM, Jun 04, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The mother of the people involved in a rough arrest 7 years ago says what’s happening right now is a reminder things need to change in Omaha.

Sharee Johnson is the mother of the two men who were arrested after a parking dispute in 2013 near 33rd and Seward St., and feels not much has changed.

An officer is seen striking one multiple times while on the ground, another officer was convicted of getting rid of a cell phone with evidence.

DIGITAL EXTRA: Hear more of Sharee Johnson's comments below

Sharee Johnson web extra

She wants to see the citizen complaint review board have more power, and to make excessive force complaints against officers made public so people know who they are.

“Is it just PR or what can they do to make a change?” What can they do to override a decision that is starting in internal affairs where they’re policing themselves in their first place,” Johnson explained.

For the Citizen Review Board, a complaint first goes to the chief for an investigation and decision. Then if someone wants to appeal, the review board which is made up of Omaha citizens looks at it and can make recommendations. OPD Chief Todd Schmaderer says he’s implemented some.

In 2019 there were three citizen complaint reviews. In 2020 so far there have been 3.

“I think when you have a chief that you trust and that they know that he will investigate, they know they’ve seen him discipline, and terminate officers then I think they have a lot of trust in him and so I think that’s why there’s not a lot of those complaints,” Mayor Jean Stothert explained.

The Citizen Review Board was formed in 2014 by Mayor Jean Stothert.