NewsAmerica in Crisis


Justice for Zachary Bear Heels Memorial Walk

Posted at 8:39 PM, Jun 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-07 16:21:17-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Some call it a similar case to the George Floyd incident, where four police officers were involved where someone in custody died.

Hundreds gathered Friday to remember Zachary Bear Heels on the 3rd anniversary of when he died in Omaha. They marched to bring awareness to an issue they feel led to his death.

"When the cops came, it just turned bad, they tased him 12 times beat him multiple times, and he wasn't coherent," said Grace Johnson, who was at the event.

Back on June 5, 2017, 29-year-old Zachary Bear Heels, a Native American, died after being in police custody. Four Omaha police officers were fired as a result, but three have since returned to the job, and Johnson says that decision isn't right.

"It's frustrating it's heartbreaking, it's all of it," said Johnson.

Since that incident, people have organized a 4 1/2 mile walk starting in downtown Omaha to the Bucky's gas station off 60th and Center where Bear Heels died, all to raise awareness on police brutality.

"It was incredibly empowering to see so many people come out for someone who still hasn't gotten justice in their situation," said Alex Gudgeon, who participated in the walk.

"Black lives matter, native lives matter, and nobody deserves to be persecuted for the color of their skin for no reason whey they haven't done anything wrong," said Gudgeon.

Johnson said she appreciated the large turnout and the community supporting this cause.

"We need this help, we're a small population, we're one percent of the population, we need awareness, we need allies, we need support," said Johnson.