Omaha police officer cleared of excessive force allegations, chief says | Crime News

An inquest has cleared an Omaha police officer accused of using excessive force in a June 21 incident, the Omaha Police Department said Friday.

Officer Tyler Hansen, a 14-year veteran of the department, had been placed on administrative leave on June 22 pending an investigation by the police department’s internal affairs unit.

The use of force allegations came after a video emerged on social media showing Hansen pushing a boy’s head to the side of a police cruiser before placing the boy in the back seat of the car .

A police report into the incident said Hansen and other officers were dispatched to the Atlas Apartments at 2929 California St. around 2:30 p.m. on June 21 to investigate a report of trespassing. Apartment staff told officers that a group of youths had broken into the apartment complex’s swimming pool and that the same group of youths had previously caused vandalism and criminal mischief there.

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Around 3 p.m., officers were dispatched for a disturbance near 33rd and Burt streets, a few blocks from the apartment complex, according to the report. The caller said four young men were outside his apartment, refusing to leave. The man said the youths came to his door asking for a missing or stolen iPad.

The man told officers he denied knowing anything about an iPad, but the youths refused to leave and acted aggressively, the report said. One of the officers then approached six local youths and acknowledged that several of them were featured in the video at the Atlas Apartments.

The officer told the minors to leave the area, and as they walked away another boy approached and began agitating the group, according to a police news release.

The report says the boy aggressively approached the officer and yelled at him.

Despite the officer’s warnings, the boy refused to leave and began inciting other members of the group to shout profanities at the officer, according to the report.

The boy then rushed towards the officer, prompting the officer to push him away, according to the press release. The boy threw himself on the officer again, and the officer tackled him to the ground and handcuffed him. The boy moved away and tried to fight the officer, punching him and causing a cut above the officer’s eye.

At this point, Hansen arrived to help place the boy in a police cruiser, the statement said.

Hansen’s body camera captured the boy repeatedly swearing and backing away from Hansen, the statement said. Hansen then pushed the boy against the police car to gain control of him and used his body weight to hold him down as the boy tried to pull away.

Once Hansen put the boy in the police car, the boy continued to use profanity and placed his feet in the door jamb to prevent it from closing, the statement said. The boy also spat at Hansen as he closed the cruiser’s door.

Hansen gave strong verbal orders when contacting the boy, telling him to “stop fighting,” police said.

Chief Todd Schmaderer said in a statement Friday that a review of the camera carried by the officer provided a more detailed account of what happened.

“I would like to thank those who forwarded the video of the incident to the OPD,” Schmaderer said in the statement. “A full investigation into the officer’s actions has been initiated as a result. The video of the distancing citizen has raised questions of excessive use of force; however, after a full review, it has been determined that the video of near the officer’s body-worn camera described a more detailed account of why the officer took the action he did I find the officer exonerated in this case.

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