Johnson Brother's Obstructing Charge Dropped
Demetrius Johnson appeared in court Thursday on Obstruction charges stemming from a rough arrest at 33rd & Seward St. back in March.Photo: Video by kmtv.com
Demetrius Johnson appeared in court Thursday on Obstruction charges stemming from a rough arrest at 33rd & Seward St. back in March. Officers arrested Demetrius inside his house after they chased his brother Juacquez because he filmed officers taking down his brother Octavius. Prosecutors said earlier this week said one of the officers stole the cell phone and memory card used to record the incident from Demetrius.
It didn't take long for a judge to dismiss the charge against Demetrius Johnson in Douglas County Court. City Prosecutor David Smallheiser asked for the dismissal Thursday, but says it doesn't mean it's done for good.
Demetrius Johnson and his mother, Sharee left the courtroom knowing for now, none of the family will have be a defendant in the 33rd & Seward incident. While Demetrius and his two brothers were arrested, he was the only one formally charged.
"It should've been done in the first place; it should've been done in the first place. This is a victory but a small victory,” Sharee Johnson explained.
Demetrius was supposed to be tried last month, but a judge continued the case, because key witnesses were not called to court. The witnesses included former OPD Sergeant Aaron Von Behren. Von Behren and James Kinsella have been criminally charged. The officer seen hitting Octavius Johnson on tape, was not charged.
"I'm displeased with the outcome of the Don Kleine's determination not to prosecute the other police officers," Sharee added.
City Prosecutor David Smallheiser said he dismissed the charge against Demetrius because he will be a witness in the trials against the former officers. Sharee says she would like to see the Obstructing an Officer charge be reviewed because it can be used as "a cop-out" to justify an officer's actions.
"If you disagree with them in any way verbally it could be considered obstruction of justice and can go against your record, and there's no way to honestly fight it," Sharee described.
Smallheiser said it was “Dismissed without Prejudice” which means he can refile the obstruction charge later, if he decided to try all 3 brothers. The outcome of the trials against the police officers will likely play a major role in that decision.