Rough Arrest Penalties Questioned

Several members of North Omaha's faith-based community want to know more about what they describe as lenient decisions handed down by the courts this week against two former Omaha police officers.

On Thursday, Judge Bataillon sentenced former officer James Kinsella to 12-months probation for his role in getting rid of a memory card from someone's phone.

Earlier in the week charges against former sergeant Aaron Von Behren were dropped. He had been accused of covering up the case because of a lack of evidence.

They were two of six officers fired last year after a rough arrest over a car with expired plates at 33rd and Seward.

Several officers ran into a home after the Johnson brothers had videotaped the arrest from the ground.

On Friday morning, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine accepted an invitation to speak at Pilgrim Baptist Church about the rulings.

Pastor Cedric Perkins, with Pilgrim Baptist, said, "Iin most cases, someone who tampers with evidence, there are severe penalties."

Kleine believes Kinsella deserved jail time.

He said, “It's a severe crime - obstructing the law and you are person sworn to uphold the law."

As a part of the probation deal, Kinsella gives up his certification. Kleine said that means he can never be a police officer again.

The case against the sergeant who saw charges dismissed has been turned over to the Department of Justice to investigate the possibility of civil rights violations.


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