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Omaha Police weigh in on officer-involved incident in Minnesota

Protesters, police clash in Minneapolis a day after man died in police custody
Posted at 5:18 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 12:13:32-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The Omaha Police Department is weighing in on an incident in Minneapolis where a man died after an officer pressed his knee into the man's neck during an arrest, even after the man stopped moving.

Omaha Police said they reviewed video of Monday's detainment of George Floyd.

"Chief Todd Schmaderer and the Deputy Chiefs of the Omaha Police Department would like to extend condolences to the family of Mr. George Floyd," Omaha Police wrote on Facebook. "The officers’ actions are not consistent with the training and protocol of our profession. We commend Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for his decisive actions and leadership."

The officers involved in the Minneapolis incident were fired yesterday, and Schmaderer says he supports the decision.

"The actions of those officers were clearly inconsistent with the training and protocols of our profession. I personally know Chief Arradondo of Minneapolis and I commend him on the swift action he took on that particular matter," Schmaderer said.

He says incidents like this harm the community's relationship with the police.

"What occurred in Minneapolis is a sobering reminder of how quickly bad policing can undermine everything that we do. Even though that did not occur in Omaha, it still occurred in a major city very similar to Omaha and it can cause damage all across this country in this policing profession."

It's why community partners and relationships are so important to the Omaha Police Department, as well as the Empowerment Network.

Empowerment Network Founder and President Willie Barney released this statement to 3 News News Now:

"Our prayers go out to the family of George Floyd and all of those impacted by this horrific and devastating situation. We call and stand for justice. The officers should be arrested and charged. We have worked for years to develop a collaborative approach in Omaha where the community and police work together when things are good and when challenging and difficult moments occur, locally and nationally. I appreciate the fact that we have a strong and productive working relationship with the Omaha Police Department. There’s always room for improvement, but I can truly say that Chief Schmaderer and his team have worked hard to build a community-oriented and accountable police department, where use of force has been reduced measurably. We will continue to press forward in Omaha with implementing our collaborative model. "

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is calling for charges to be filed against the officer who pressed his knee into Floyd's neck.

"As law enforcement officers, we hold ourselves to the higher standard and when those standards are not upheld, leaders must unite and support corrective measures," Omaha Police said on Facebook.

Floyd's death prompted protests, and police used tear gas and projectiles after some protesters began damaging a police station.