OPOA: Officer was hit before throwing strikes...

Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 19:14:06-05

The video’s been seen tens of thousands of times.  A school resource officer throwing punches at a student while breaking up a fight at Millard South High School.

The officer in the video, Nicholas Caniglia, has been temporarily reassigned while police investigate.

The footage was taken Thursday afternoon near the Millard South High School Library.  It appears 3 teenagers are fighting when security comes in.  A short time later Officer Caniglia arrives, and tries to stop the altercation.  He can be seen throwing at least 4 strikes on one of the teens involved.

There is no different policy for a school resource officer when it comes to use of force.  They are allowed to use the same tactics as they do in their OPD capacity.

The Omaha Police Officers Association says Officer Caniglia was hit before throwing strikes.

"When he grabs one of the two combatants he says he feels that he's struck in the head and responded frankly as he's allowed to do per our policy, per our use of force policies," said Ofc. Dennis Sexton, the Treasurer for the Omaha Police Officers Association.

Officer Sexton says when in an assaultive situation they're allowed to use tactics like empty hand strikes to stop the brawl.

"It's kind of hard to make judgment on whether he acted appropriately or not. I hope that he did based on the video that I've seen, I haven't seen that he's done anything wrong," Ofc. Sexton explained.

A police report indicates the security guard, Tim Kimpson, was punched in the face.  The teen in the video struck by Caniglia tells KMTV he doesn't remember much of the fight and wasn't hurt, but was shaken up.