NewsLocal News


Omaha Police Chief stands by firing of Scotty Payne, other officers

Posted at 8:02 AM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 09:02:06-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer is standing by his decision to fire four officers involved in the arrest of Zachary BearHeels, a mentally ill man who died in police custody.

This comes after jury acquitted one of those officers, Scotty Payne, of felony assault. Payne was the only officer involved who was charged with a felony.

Tuesday afternoon, Schmaderer said nobody won in the courtroom and the city needs to heal.

"It was uncomfortable for me to see an Omaha Police officer on trial," he said.

Payne said he would like to return to the department and the police union now plans on helping him get his job back by going to arbitration. However, if he does return, it is ultimately up to Schmaderer to decide his exact job duties.

Schmaderer said the officers respond to mental health calls daily and OPD has made improvements on how it handles those situations.