Protests erupt in Omaha after police fatally shot and killed a black man whereas within the visitors obstruction
A black man was fatally shot in an altercation with two police officers who obstructed traffic on Thursday evening in Omaha, Neb., Leading to protests across the city over the weekend.
NBC News reports that Kenneth Jones, 35, died at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where he was admitted after the shootings. It is unclear which of the two police officers shot him, but the shooting allegedly took place when the police were fighting to forcibly remove him from a car he was driving.
The police discovered a car with four people stopped in the middle of the street without the hazard lights being on, they said in statements on Friday and Saturday. The two officers involved at the stop, Dan Faulkner and Richard Martier, instructed everyone in the vehicle to put their hands up, police said, citing interviews with officers and the body camera video that was not verified by NBC News. The officers gave the order as they went to the vehicle.
Police said in a statement Friday that the three other passengers obeyed the order, but Jones did not and that officers then used a flashlight to break the car window and open the door that was closest to Jones did not drive.
Police said the video shows the two officers “fighting” to get Jones out of the car. Police claimed they saw a gun at Jones during the fight and shot him four times.
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Officials said they found a gun “right under” Jones after they shot him. They also said that they asked him to “show his hands” after he was shot and dropped to the ground.
According to the Omaha World-Herald, footage from the patrol car’s dash cam shows the fight between the officers and Jones. An officer can be heard shouting that Jones is “digging” for his weapon.
“Keep your hands where I can see them!” The officer said the herald reports. “Take care of his right hand! He digs! He digs! He has a gun! He has a gun! “
Activists in Omaha are not convinced the shooting was justified, however, and a protest held near police headquarters on Friday night ended with the arrest of two protesters and three other quotes, the Herald reports. Tear gas was reportedly fired during the protest to disperse the crowd. The protesters demanded that all videos related to the shootings be made available to the public.
“Until [police] prove that they didn’t murder a black man, we won’t shut up – not a bit, ”said Peyton Zyla, organizer of the local activist group ProBLAC, according to the Herald.
According to NBC, one of the protesters was arrested for “attacking an officer” after allegedly shining a “laser light” on an officer’s face. The protests near police headquarters continued on Saturday and others were arrested for alleged attacks on officials. The police declared protests to be “illegal gatherings” on both days.
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert said during a press conference Friday that a grand jury will be investigating the shooting and that the two officials involved have been taken on administrative leave.
Police Chief Todd Schmaderer addressed Jones’ family and community members in a statement confirming an investigation is ongoing.
“We would like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Kenneth Jones and the rest of the community who have been affected by this incident,” said Schmaderer. “We aim to do a thorough investigation and provide full details to the public.”