Floyd Wallace founded Omaha CopBlock because he was tired of watching police intimidate those in his community. That’s why he turned on his cell phone camera when three Omaha police officers walked into the Econo Lodge, where Wallace was visiting his friend, on February 3rd. The police seemed to be investigating some sort of complaint before they turned their attention to Floyd. Luckily Wallace recorded the encounter and I’ve edited the two clips together in the video below.
You can see the raw versions of the videos below.
Wallace claims that after being thrown out by Walker (badge #1633) he went back into the hotel lobby area because he wasn’t issued a formal summons. When the three police officers met Wallace in the stairwell they immediately started to arrest them. Wallace states that he was trying to explain to them that he’d have to be served paperwork barring him from the property before being arrested for trespassing.
As seen in the video Wallace didn’t get the chance to finish his sentence. His legs were swiped out from underneath him and all three officers pounced on him. Wallace stated that he couldn’t breath and that he was in serious fear of his life. He went limp, not because he was resisting, because he was about to pass out from lack of oxygen. When that happened the police were able to put the cuffs on and let up of their choke hold.
Instead he was transported to the county jail and booked on charges of trespassing, obstructing and resisting arrest. Wallace was unable to post the bond and was stuck in jail until his trial. He also didn’t use Cell 411, or any livestreaming application, so no one knew of his arrest. He thought he was going to be stuck in jail for months and by the time his trial came, the truth so buried (thanks to heavily swayed police reports), that he’d be railroaded like several other CopBlockers. He assumed he was going to be there for at least a year.
What’s also interesting is the conversation that follows Wallace being brought to the jail. The arresting officers (presumably) discuss many things. Including how the trespassing and disorderly might not stick. They even go as far as to say they’d tell the DA to not drop those charges. Something that was obvious with Brian and my case in Noblesville but wasn’t as clearly stated as this.
They also coached one another on how to write their reports, including stating that the manager had told Wallace to leave (something that was not heard in the video), so that they’d reflect the charges better. One officer, I believe to be Walker, even stated to someone on the phone that he felt the trespassing and disorderly were good but had concerns about putting on the resisting if it was just going to get tossed. The officers had completely set Wallace up from the start to spend some time in jail.
They pushed the manager to say he didn’t want Wallace on the property, they didn’t even wait for him to state it before removing him. They escalated the situation when they failed to cite him for trespassing and instead assaulted him. During the assault the police claimed that Wallaced resisted and was disorderly. They added these charges simply to punish him because, as one officer said, “He had taken it too far.”
It probably would have work, and has on millions of others (including many CopBlockers), but this past Friday, March 4th, an officer in Wallace’s pod said, “Wallace, roll it up!”
Confused but not wanting to ask too many questions Wallace packed up his things and headed to the out processing area. He was told nothing other than he should go to the courthouse when he could. He knew no one paid his bond because he didn’t sign any such paperwork but still didn’t want to push it. Choosing to take a few days of freedom if his release were a mistake.
The weekend came and went without arrest, so, on Monday Wallace made his way to the courthouse where he was given a dismissal of charges form. Come to find out the hotel manager didn’t sell out to the cops when asked to process the trespassing charges. This trashed the would be charges the butthurt Omaha Police employees were trying to pass off on Wallace and forced them to dismiss all charges. Or that’s what it looks like, no one gave any further information (other than dismissal) and I have yet to hear back from the Police or DA.
While it seems that Wallace was able to get the better end of these police employees it did come at a cost. Aside from the 30 days in jail, he nearly lost his apartment and job as well. This is why it’s very important to have some sort of live streaming application on your smartphone. Had Wallace had Cell 411, or other live streaming apps, he may have been able to avoid the 30 days in jail, potential loss of job and home.
While Cell 411 doesn’t get all the credit for the release of Brett Sanders, who did Cell 411 his arrest, it most certainly played an important role. People were able to see the video of his arrest quickly. This allowed folks to decide for themselves if they want to support efforts to help get him released. Having that luxury – and it is a luxury – provides those of us who are having our rights violated a valuable resource in the form of public outcry. If the state feels that proceeding with a grey area prosecution is going to be more troublesome than it’s worth, they will often dismiss the charges. Yet, having charges dismissed is much harder once the system has progressed a few steps. This is why you should make sure you’re prepared for an unexpected police encounter by having live streaming capabilities.
Wallace stated that he has learned a very valuable lesson with this experience. That live streaming is a must for any CopBlocker and keeping your cool is very important. He hopes that not only he can learn from his mistakes but you as well. For now, he’d like our help in spreading this video/post far and wide. And if you’re an Omaha Attorney, he’d like help in filing a suit against these officer and the 30 days he was caged.