ProBLAC and Omaha reach an agreement on the Farnam Street lawsuit

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A settlement agreement was filed Thursday between the City of Omaha and ProBLAC over a lawsuit over the police agency’s response to one of the protests this summer following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

A joint statement from the city and the Nebraska ACLU said a court-accepted settlement would change enforcement training and tactics used during protests.

Under the terms of the settlement, the city and the OPD would dismiss pending charges against anyone at the Farnam Street protest march in July, and ProBLAC members would withdraw claims of excessive violence and unlawful arrest.

The agreement also lays down rules of conduct for future protests.

“From the beginning, our plaintiffs’ aim has been to defend their rights and protect future protests. This agreement makes significant progress on both fronts, ”said Adam Sipple, ACLU legal director in Nebraska.

In the settlement, the Omaha Police Department agreed to ensure that all OPD staff are properly trained on the rights and practices of the first change, as well as new revisions.

OPD is also trained in new and old practices related to the use of chemical agents, carries proper police ID, and responds orally to those who want to know their names and ID numbers.

All changes, procedures, general and special orders to the OPD guidelines will be published as per the agreement.

“I am delighted that we were able to reach an agreement at the beginning of 2021 and set a positive tone. If a common ground can be reached, everyone benefits,” said Todd Schmaderer, Chief of Police of Omaha.

The terms of the contract would be enforceable for two years.

The court meditation begins on December 7th.

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