Somali Community Concerned About Assaults

Somali immigrants living in south Omaha claim they are the targets of assaults.

A group living in the Southside Terrace public housing complex protested what they believe is a lack of concern by police and Omaha housing authority. The residents held signs that demand more protection

The Somali immigrants told Channel Six News that about a half dozen of their Somali nationals have been roughed up. The victims had been walking in the area near 30th and "U" or standing at nearby bus stops.

Gang members are possible suspects but their motives are unclear. the Somali immigrants are concerned the violence will escalate.

Omaha police spokesperson Lt. Darci Tierney said officers were unaware of the concerns until today.

Tierney said, "We will continue to have a police presence and monitor the area. We will notify Omaha Public Schools to ensure they are aware of any potential problems."

A police commander, members of the gang unit and a city councilman met with members of Omaha’s Somali community Tuesday afternoon. Tierney said the residents will be given tips on reporting incidents and avoiding confrontations.

Omaha Housing Authority director Stan Timm said OHA staff will do all they can to help the Somali residents feel safe.

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