Family Accuses Omaha Police of Using Excessive Force

Justin Pazera

Family Accuses Omaha Police of Using Excessive Force

CREATED Mar. 21, 2013

Omaha, NE - The incident happened at 33rd and Seward when a tow-truck was about to haul away a few cars after a parking complaint, then chaos broke-out. Cell phone video shot by a neighbor shows Omaha Police officers pulling Octavious Johnson to the ground Thursday night outside his family's home.

Police say Johnson confronted officers, causing a disturbance. His brother, watching from the sidewalk, yells at police to stop. "Get your knee off his neck, get your knee off his neck." said his brother.

The video goes on to show Octavious Johnson still down on the ground when more officers arrive on the scene. After police chase the brother into the house, the officer still with Octavious, appears to strike him three times. Sharee Johnson says her son obeyed police, but officers still used excessive force. Johnson says, "But they did not go up there forcefully to go touch the cars or take the cars anything? They did not get in front of the cars or stop them from doing their job?" 

Sharee's sister was watching from the front porch in a wheelchair. Sharee accuses officers of knocking her sister to the ground when they rushed into the house. The sister went to the hospital by rescue squad. "Why is my sister in the hospital? Why is she on the floor?" said Johnson. "How did that happen when she can't get down there to them. That means they had to make the attempt to come up here and how did she end up on the floor? I just don't understand that."

Omaha Police would not talk to Action 3 News Thursday night about the incident or the video, saying there could be an internal affairs investigation. In a news release, the department said, "One party in a wheelchair was knocked over during the disturbance." 

The family says one car did have expired tags but Johnson says a parking complaint should never lead to an incident like this. Johnson plans to file a formal complaint.