Omaha, Nebraska Police Brutality

According to, three arrests were made. The three were brothers that all lived in that house with their wheel-chair bound mom, who was taken to the hospital after police entering the home knocked her out of her chair. The situation began because police were towing vehicles and that guy that gets thrown to the ground in the video asked them what they were doing.

An anonymous submitter said, “I was copied on the email [below] from former police auditor (position eliminated) Tristan Bonn.”

From: Tristan Bonn
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2013 11:10 AM
Cc:;;;; ‘’;;; ‘Dan Welch’; ‘’;
Subject: Conduct of Omaha Police Department

Mayor and Chief,

I am attaching the You Tube video for you to see what will soon be a viral experience for viewers in Omaha and around the country, I am sure. What the video depicts can only be described as exactly the type of OPD abuse and excessive force that people in this city have complained about for years, and what people like me have reported for years. The fact that OPD and the past several city administrations, et. al. have covered this kind of conduct up, denied it, and attacked the people who have tried to expose this behavior only makes this matter worse. Had any responsible parties, Chiefs, Mayors, City Attorneys, the media, etc. done their jobs at any time in the past, we likely would not be viewing such an extreme video.

Perhaps the most outrageous behavior captured in this video is the ordinariness of OPD’s actions. The following list of SOP violations, constitutional abuses, and just plain incompetence and unprofessional-ism in no way appear unusual. To wit:

1) There was absolutely no resistance when the OPD officer “takes down” the suspect. It does not matter what might have happened before the video began (the customary OPD excuse). At the instant this force was used, it was excessive in relation to the suspect’s actions.

2) Upon take-down and handcuffing, hitting and piling on around the head continued. A knee to the back of the neck and sitting on the suspect’s backs ARE recipes for positional asphyxiation AS I HAVE COMPLAINED of since the Justin Watson in-custody death. Get the person off the ground once he is in cuffs, for crying out loud! What I see here is how people are killed and it is inexcusable.

3) There is NO violation when a witness watches, comments or videotapes police action. The man across the street DID NOTHING to warrant arrest.

4) Chasing him into the house and entering the house was an unlawful entry as was the entry of at least 10 officers who followed.

5) In addition, the arrest was unlawful and the taunting of the man on the street was, well inexplicable.

6) During the pileup of no less than 25 cops that I counted and 12 cruisers, I heard at least one officer complain about the “fucking dogs.” I am only surprised OPD did not shoot them.

7) These are just a few examples of clear violations and police conduct that can only be described as appalling.

8) If this is what you mean by community policing and improving police relations, it is no wonder your department and administration have had such abject failure in reducing crime. As you can see from the vantage point of the video recorder and the other neighbors watching, this type of policing was witnessed by everyone in the neighborhood.

9) Even though much of what I saw on the video matches much of what I heard from citizens while I was Auditor, it was still shocking to see this behavior by the Omaha Police Department. The swarming of 25 officers, 12 cruisers and the police helicopter over a physical contact THAT WAS COMPLETELY PRECIPITATED BY OPD makes it very difficult to support any increases of any officers or anything else to a department that acts in this manner.

10) In short, this behavior is appalling. It demands a complete and total public airing, review, after-action and explanation from both of you.

I await your response.

Tristan Bonn
Former Police Auditor



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