State Patrol Searches for Evidence at Johnson Home
Omaha, NE - A day after Omaha's police chief fired four officers, Nebraska State Patrol investigators served a search warrant at the Omaha home where the excessive force investigation started two weeks ago.
Police Chief Todd Schmaderer fired four officers Friday and Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine has started a new investigation to determine if any of the officers broke the law.
"The information we've been privy to, there was evidence mishandled in that residence by Omaha police officers," said Kleine. "We're not only looking at what happened outside, but also inside the residence."
Douglas County crime lab technicians assisted with the search Saturday morning at the Johnson home at 3321 Seward.
The warrant, dated Friday, lists items investigators were looking for. "Cell phone(s) and/or digital recording devices, removable micro sd card with information and/or evidence of Tampering with Physical Evidence, witness tampering, conspiracy, 3rd degree assault and other criminal violations".
It directed investigators to search the house and three brothers, Octavius, Juaquez and Demetrius Johnson. Demetrius Johnson left the house Saturday with State Patrol investigators, who said he was not being arrested.
Two weeks ago, cell phone video obtained first by KMTV Action 3 News, shows an officer pulling Octavius Johnson to the ground and punching him. Juaquez Johnson, standing across the street, was also recording the incident. Juaquez ran into the house and officers chased him. He told KMTV Action 3 News, the officers took his camera, then arrested him. Octavius and a third brother Demetrius were also arrested.
Friends of the Johnson family waited outside the house Saturday, recording NSP investigators as they entered the house.
"They''re alleging that the items may be inside the home, so my question is, if they're inside the home, then what did the Chief look at?" asked Robert Wagner, a friend of the family. "I looked at the warrant, it was vague. To me, it just looks like another form of intimidation, harassment. This is unacceptable."
Two years ago, two OPD officers were fired after surveillance video showed them kicking and tasering Wagner outside Creighton University Medical Center. Those officers have been reinstated.
County Attorney Kleine says if his investigation shows the officers mishandled evidence, he will "prosecute to the fullest extent of the law". He will also investigate the excessive force complaint.