Calls for police auditor are quiet

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May 12th, 2011

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Omaha, NE – Many are familiar with the Rodney King incident, a case that sparked national attention on police brutality. And, although it happened back in 1991 in Los Angeles, CA, some locals say these incidents are still happening today right here in their own back yard. Over the weekend, Nebraskans for Peace hosted a community meeting on the topic, but nobody showed up.

On a warm spring day, at the Charles Washington Branch Library in North Omaha, Mark Welsch, is seated in the meeting room by the door working on his laptop. Welsch is the Omaha Coordinator for Nebraskans for Peace. He waits for people to join the meeting, and hopes to get more stories of local police brutality.

Nebraskans for Peace hosted a community meeting about police brutality in Omaha, but nobody showed up. (Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons)

“I’ve heard stories from people about how the police will stop young black men in their cars. And, get those men out of their car, and then get their car keys from them, and put their keys on the driver seat, and then lock the doors, and shut their doors, and tell them to have a nice day and tell they to leave,” Welsch said, and called the alleged incidents a form of “terrorism.”

Welsch said most police officers are upstanding, but he said it’s the two to three percent of trouble makers, as he calls them, that create problems in minority communities.

Omaha hasn’t had an independent police auditor monitoring citizen complaints since 2006. But, if a person has a problem with a police officer, they can file a complaint with the department, which is investigated internally. Lt. Darci Tierney is the public information officer for the Omaha Police Department. Tierney said all complaints are taken seriously.

“We want to make sure that our officers are doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” she said. “If they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, we need to know about that so that we can address it.”

There were a number of protests demanding an independent police auditor in Omaha in 2006 and 2007, but for the last couple years, protesters have been quiet. After about an hour and half at the library, no one showed up to Welsch’s meeting. Welsch blamed the low attendance on a lack of advertising on his part and the controversial subject matter.

One Response

  1. Rob L. Bent says:

    Im looking to be in touch with someone about brutality that has happened to me in omaha. I settled out of court in a major 1991 11.9 million dollar lawsuit, under cohersion. In 2007 I suffered severe brain damage as a result of coordinated police brutality. The cool thing is,I was hiding under a deck, and I listened to commander Jeffrey Chubbs tell a reporter at the scene about a form of brutality that he planned to perform upon my apprehension. He calls it “Pin the Head on the Bull.” I need to speak with someone about these matters soon. It has taken years to heal from the brain damage they inflicted on me! I can be reached anytime at 402-881-6040 I was falsely accused of attempted murder of a police officer in 1991, and a cop named Billy Higgins attempted to kill me. All of that got shoved under the rug. Its is hard to speak of the details- I speak better than I type. So I really look forward to sharing what I know. thanks

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