Omaha Police Union Sues Peace Activist to Chill Speach

This post comes to from someone concerned about the chilling effect a suit brought by the Omaha Police Union may have toward those who question the actions of police. First, a few words from that person who asks questions that outline the claimed double-standard, followed by a video and post about the situation from Omaha’s CBS affiliate. -Pete

Police unions have too much power and should be banned outright as they always circle their wagons to shoot whenever they get criticized.

They have special access to politicians and try to influence laws to their favor.

Who can blame them for not trying?

In Omaha, the police there are suing Mark Welsch (a member of the group Nebraskans For Peace) for defamation of character when Welsch made a comment to reporters accusing a officer of killing someone.

The interesting question this raises, if Police can sue you for defamation of character, then surely we can sue individual officers for the same for a false arrest of false charges.

Most people sue the city and seems they don’t try to sue the individual officer or even the gangster police union who likes to spin their tales to protect one of their own in front of reporters.

If they can do it, why can’t citizens sue them individually for defamation of character?

Please share your opinions or if aware of instances of individual officers being successfully sued in court or even successfully sued in small claims court.


omaha_police_union_320Police Union Sues Nebraskans For Peace Member by Ann McIntir of WOWT Channel 6 posted May 10, 2012

The Omaha Police Union filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of a fellow officer claiming defamation of character. The suit states that the officer was accused of killing someone when he had nothing to do with the death. The comments were made to reporters by a member of the group Nebraskans For Peace.

The officer in the suit is retired and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, which the union says has only been made worse by these false accusations.

“You cannot go around accusing people of killing someone without facts, that’s what I hope to prove with this,” says Omaha Police Union President John Wells, who adds the lawsuit against Nebraskans For Peace member Mark Welsch aims to clear the name of the retired officer.

“To say we’re more than happy to debate the issues, everyone is entitled to their opinion, it’s their God-given right, but you’re not allowed to accuse somebody of a crime,” says Wells.

Welsch, who has been an advocate for Robert Wagner, the Omaha man who Wednesday took a plea deal in the alleged police brutality case, made the comments during an April news conference when he talked about the shooting of Wagner’s cousin, Jimmy Levering, in May of last year near 30th and Pratt.

“If an officer says this job is too stressful for me, they should let him out because if they don’t this is what could happen, that officer is now out of that unit, he has to live with him killing a man, but that’s how maybe he saw that as his only way out of that stressful situation, so he shot Jimmy in the head, killed him and now he’s on a pension for the rest of his life,” said Welsch. “We’re going to pay for that.”

The police union says there is no doubt that Welsch was singling out OPD Officer Ryan Sedlacek. But no officer, let alone Sedlacek, was responsible for Levering’s death. “That’s a wild, unsubstantiated accusation, wholly untrue, not a basis in fact,” says Wells. “In fact, Ryan wasn’t even working that weekend.”

The lawsuit doesn’t indicate what compensation is being sought, simply that the statements have caused Sedlacek serious injury to his good name and caused him emotional stress due to fear. “If Jimmy’s friends believe that that individual officer or any officer with the Omaha Police Department was responsible for his death, that they’ll look at us for retaliation.”

Welsch tells Channel 6 News he’s never been sued before and wanted to talk with an attorney before making any comment. The entire police union voted Tuesday on whether to move forward with this lawsuit and the vote was unanimous.


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