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Police Officers Accused Of Overreacting

Instead of porch lights, two feuding neighbors have turned on security cameras. One them had tape rolling when police responded to a complaint of loud music.

Melino Reuter refused to answer the door when officers repeatedly knocked and yelled to open-up.

“Open the damn door," shouted one of the officers.

Reuter called 911 and told the emergency operator, “There were people dressed as officers all wearing black gloves. So I wanted to call police to make sure they were, in fact, officers.”

After a few minutes Reuter left his home through a side door, walked to the front and calmly sat down on the porch. He claims he never acted disorderly in any way. The tape shows officers searching Reuter and then handcuffing him.

Reuter was taken to jail and booked for Obstruction and Disturbing the Peace. He spent a night in jail before his girlfriend posted $6,000 bail.

Attorney Jim Schaeffer represents Reuter.

Schaeffer said, “The officers overreacted to the situation. In fact, if they came to the residence for a loud noise complaint, they didn’t even write him a ticket for loud music.”

Records from 911 show that in the past three to four months, the two households of feuding neighbors have generated 21 police calls.

Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes says, “Officers, when they go to those calls, it does get frustrating sometimes but we are professionals and trained to be professional.”

Chief Hayes said the tape also contains the sound of loud music that would disturb the peace. However he said OPD has an Internal Affairs Division to investigate officers' actions on calls like these.

The defense attorney says he will ask the city prosecutor to dismiss Obstructing Police and Disturbing the Peace charges.

As for the repeated police calls to the homes of the feuding neighbors Chief Hayes said, “It would be nice if the neighbors could just get along.”


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