Parking violation turns into police assault caught on video – lawsuit

Still from YouTube video/Tactix94RT News

A Nebraska family filed suit Monday against dozens of police officers alleging that they turned a parking violation into a rough arrest and violating the family’s constitutional rights by breaking into a nearby home and confiscating video of the incident.

Four Omaha police officers initially responded to a complaint on March 21, 2013 that Octavius Johnson had parked his truck in the wrong area of the street. A video of the incident recorded from an upstairs window shows police throwing Johnson to the ground and punching him multiple times as a number of other officers rush to the scene.  

He went around my neck, threw me to the ground, choked me out to the point where I couldn’t breathe or speak,” Johnson told KPTM-TV in Nebraska. “The officer told me to stop resisting, punched me in the face and said ‘do you want to die today.’”

Another officer pushes Octavius’ brother Juaquez, who is filming the arrest on a camera phone, away from the scene. Juaqeuz then escapes the officer’s grasp and sprints into a neighbor’s home and is chased by a handful of police, who eventually confiscated his phone.

That video – which is thought to have been destroyed – has never been made public. Yet the video captured from upstairs quickly went viral after the incident, inspiring community demonstrations and eventually the dismissal of the four officers caught on film. Criminal charges were brought against two of those patrolmen for either tampering with evidence or being an accessory.

Octavius, 28, was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, while Juaquez, 23, was charged with obstructing officers and disorderly conduct.

Many of the police actions that took place that day are in violation of our policies and do not represent how I want our officers to conduct themselves,” Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer told reporters at a press conference days later. “The final resolution will be fair to the citizens of Omaha, the Omaha Police Department and the specific employees involved so that we can move forward and restore any public trust that may have eroded with this incident.”

If the Omaha police have rectified the situation, it has not been enough of an effort to satisfy the Johnson family. With help from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) they filed suit seeking damages for the anxiety and depression that have surfaced in the months since. Eight officers were named in the suit and another 24 were unnamed.

This incident will live with our family for the rest of our lives,” said Sharee Johnson, mother of the two young men. “None of us can call 911 when we need help and believe that police would be there to help us. We live in a city where we feel we have no protection.”

Octavius Johnson, the man tackled from behind, told Omaha’s KMTV that he’s grateful a childhood friend was able to capture the incident on video.

I think we all know what would have happened if he wasn’t there,” he said. “It would have been swept under the rug.”

9 thoughts on “Parking violation turns into police assault caught on video – lawsuit

  1. What part of the largest street gang in ameriKa is so hard to understand here? Taking videos is nothing new either the government of all branches does it all the time too. For the most part the only photo’s and video’s they want to see are ones that help them and not you! There has to be a special place in hell for corrupt pigs.All one has to do is disagree with them,or question what they are doing for all hell to break loose,its the law damn it.stop resisting!The officer had to deploy his taser and all department policies were followed.Internal investigation revealed the pig was right.

  2. I wonder if this guy had some kind of history?
    Just wondering, seems like they had enough back up to put down an insurrection, let alone a minor parking violation.
    Or is this just normal fare for this part of town. (obviously not snob hill)

  3. They are going to mess with the wrong person one of these days and they will be personally very very sorry
    So will their entire family
    Keep pushing , you will get the fight of your lives

  4. I had read some time ago that 2 of the officers were fired, but who knows what’s true on MSM, or on RT for that matter.

  5. I remember reading and following this story last year. The whole incident was a complete excessive use of force, police brutality and completely violated the 1st and 4th Article Rights without question. The whole force should be imprisoned and replaced with a new one that follows the law. Until then, NOTHING is good enough for the victims and for the community.

  6. Gosh, what a fuc*ing embarrassment these cops are. And they’re the same everywhere..they get completely carried away and totally over react. When I was younger, I wanted to be a cop. Thank God I went a different route. When I see crap like this, it just makes me sick. I can’t believe this, these violent Keystone Cop joke thugs are what a once respectable job has become.

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