After a video emerged depicting six Omaha police officers engaging in acts of police brutality, several officers were fired from their positions.
Amongst the disgraced officers who have been removed from office are James Kinsella, Bradley Canterbury, Aaron Von Behren, and Justin Reeve. Officer John D. Payne was placed on paid administrative leave after the incident.
In the video, recorded on a cell phone in March of 2013, officer Bradley D. Canterbury is shown arresting Octavius Johnson. Canterbury pulls Johnson to the ground and punches him multiple times.
Several other officers are also seen running into the Johnson home “to confiscate video another Johnson brother was recording.” The officers did not have a search warrant.
As shown in the video, after the officers race into the Johnson home, Canterbury assaults the already-subdued Johnson with another series of punches. Canterbury later failed to report this second assault.
Fired Officer James Kinsella has admitted to throwing away the memory card on which Johnson’s brother had recorded the incident. Fortunately, and unbeknownst to the officers, another video recording of the arrest exists – a neighbor was recording the incident from a room across the street.
After beating Johnson and invading the house, an array of charges was brought up against the involved officers.
Kinsella is facing charges of felony evidence tampering and misdemeanor obstruction and theft. Von Behren is facing two misdemeanor charges for obstructing a government operation and acting as an accessory to a felony.
When the case was tried, it was noted that Canterbury did not kick or elbow Johnson, and ultimately, it was ruled that “Canterbury’s use of force was justified.” The arbitrator also decided that the evidence provided was insufficient to prove that Canterbury “purposely failed to mention the second series of strikes.”
Contributing to the fact that Canterbury wasn’t charged with assault was Johnson’s statement that he wasn’t hurt when Canterbury punched him in the back and ribs. Furthermore, Canterbury’s second attack might have been prompted by the fact that Johnson, who thought the pressure on his back had been decreased, had tried to get up. Thus, it is possible that Canterbury mistook the movement for resistance.
The Johnson brothers’ mother, Sharee Johnson, has expressed disappointment that Canterbury was ultimately not charged with any crimes.
“It’s a slap in our face,” she said. “The man had his knee on Octavius’ neck with no air. He couldn’t even breathe.”
Photo Source: http://www.omaha.com