A foot chase through an Omaha neighborhood came to a conclusion on Thursday, resulting in two arrests, both caught on tape. Friday, OPD explained its use of force.
The suspects in this case are 16 and 17 years old, but police say they committed some very grown-up crimes.
It all started when the two teens were running from police after allegedly breaking into a few cars. One of the suspects allegedly pointed a gun at police. Officers lost sight of the suspects, though police did find one and arrested him.
The second suspect was hiding in the back of a pickup and was located as a camera was rolling.
Police often tell you what they do sometimes isn't pretty. “You have to take the totality of the circumstances of a situation like that,” says Omaha Police Lt. Darci Tierney. “The clip you see is just a very brief moment in time of what happened, you don't have all the circumstances there.”
Police were looking for the second suspected car thief. Police say at that moment a lot of things are running through an officer's mind. The suspect might have been armed and he'd been hiding in the bed of the truck when police found him. Officers had to be careful, making sure the suspect made no sudden moves since every officer around the truck could have been in danger.
“The officers did try to open the tailgate, were unsuccessful with that,” says Lt. Tierney. “It would not be safe for an officer to get into the pickup truck at that point and the officers need to make sure they can see the suspect’s hands.”
Why did officers make the suspect cover his face with his own shirt? “There are some tactics we use to make sure, we want to have the tactical advantage in a situation like that,” says Lt. Tierney.
The move gave police the advantage and they moved in to apprehend the suspect. “Once the officers did get the suspect out of the truck, you can see on tape he was handcuffed. The situation was handled very professionally. They had been called to the scene because these juveniles had been breaking into vehicles. One of them actually pointed a gun at an officer.”
Police officials say the officer who apprehended the suspect in the truck will have to report to a committee to determine if he did act appropriately. That happens every time a police officer uses force.
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