Omaha mayoral candidates question the death process in custody

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Last November, Omaha police officers shot Kenneth Jones dead after a traffic obstruction. It led to protests in front of the police headquarters.

Days later, Omaha’s police chief showed body cam stills of the incident. There was a fight with Jones outside the car, he said, when officers reported that Jones was reaching for a gun.

This is just one of the 15 cases the grand jury is considering possible charges. Mayoral candidate Jasmine Harris fears that with so many cases before a secret grand jury, it is easy to blur the lines of justice.

“At the end of the day, Kenneth Jones was major and people are still asking for video and transparency. We need to take a step back and have a moment for transparency and information, ”said Harris.

Terry Hudson, another death in custody on the list, died in Evans Tower on New Year’s Eve 2019. Investigators say he killed his ex-girlfriend and then pointed a gun at officers in the hallway who shot him.

The majority of the other cases did not receive much publicity. 6 News contacted some of the other Democrats in the field as mayors.

Mayoral candidate Mark Gudgel said: “Calvin Strong was an individual. I tell my students – and Calvin was one of my former students – that they are important as people, as individuals. Our system has to treat people as if they are important … By the time this happens, the system is hopelessly broken. “

Mayoral candidate RJ Neary said, “No arrest should result in a death sentence, and I stand by the families of those who seek answers and justice. We need to make sure we do this right and just so that families and victims may experience justice. “

*** Correction: Mark Gudgel believed Calvin Strong was one of his former students. The man who died was Calvin Strong, senior. Gudgel admitted his mistake in a later interview after 6 News asked him about it.

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