Relations between Omaha police and the public are once again being tested. A family mourning the death of a baby came to Channel 6 News claiming they were the victims of insensitive and abusive police officers.
Jay Lynn was just 6 months old when she died. The Crawford family was planning a funeral. They showed Channel 6 News cell phone video of police pulling over the father of the girl, 20-year-old Dovonte Crawford, after he moved a car out of the street. Dovonte’s sister, Nikeisha Jones, was there and saw it all. “They hit him up against the car really hard on his head, they threw him on the ground, hit his head on the ground. He wasn’t talking.”
Dovonte’s 15-year-old sister also witnessed what she thought was abuse by the officers. “I looked over and I see the officer kick my brother and my sister told me to record that and he stepped in front of me and said that's it, you're going to jail,” said Antwanique Crawford.
Dovonte’s girlfriend, Dierra Starks, said she was also an eyewitness. ”My mother is sitting in the truck, she says you're choking her, please let her go, she's not resisting and while he's choking me I see Dovonte fall and hit his head and then they start stepping on him and kicking him.”
Jay Lynn’s funeral had to be postponed because police took her mother, father and aunt to jail. “We're all in jail, we can't have a funeral with mom and dad and aunt in jail for the baby, that's why we have to cancel the funeral plans and we don't know how we're going to get my brother out because they gave him a $100,000 bond,” said Jones.
“We just lost our daughter and they don't even care," said Starks. "I told the judge they didn't Mirandize us. He just brushed it off, it meant nothing.”
Dovonte remains in jail, charged with obstructing an officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Channel 6 News asked to speak with Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer about the allegations. A department spokesman said Thursday they need time to look into it before commenting.
Police say they do encourage anyone who feels that police acted inappropriately to file an official complaint so an internal investigation can be opened.