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OPOA, Kleine frustrated by probation sentence for hitting police car

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 19:49:04-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) -- — The union representing Omaha’s police officers is upset that a woman who tried to run over an officer is punished without prison time.

Jazmine Putnam, 26, pleads guilty to flight to avoid arrest and attempted assault on an officer, both felonies. She could've been sentenced to up to 22 years in prison.

Douglas County District Court Judge James Gleason sentences her to four years probation.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine called it frustrating and disappointing.

“For this kind of a crime where she puts an officer's life in jeopardy and is ramming cruisers, fleeing from police at 100mph, putting the public generally in jeopardy I think there should be greater consequences than probation,” Kleine explained.

In June, Putnam rammed a police car trying to flee outside Midtown Gas and Grocery on S. 13th Street. She also hit a vehicle with a mother and her two kids inside. Putnam almost pinned an officer between her car and a cruiser, but the officer got out of the way.

Putnam has a long criminal history in Nebraska and Iowa.

The Omaha Police Officers Association was upset by the sentence.

"This was despite her own admission to trying to injure or kill an officer, and her long history of failing to comply with court orders. We are disappointed by Judge Gleason's light sentence for the defendant trying to run over one of our members,” the OPOA posted on their website.

Putnam will have to take a chemical dependency test and join a women's trauma group as part of probation.