ACLU of Neb. pens petition on police accountability three years after Bearheels' death

Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 6:58 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Supporters say 2020 has reinvigorated the call for justice for Zachary Bearheels who died after a brutal encounter with police in 2017.

Saturday, supporters unveiled a new billboard with his name.

Friends, family and supporters are commemorating the billboard near 53rd and Center Streets for Bearheels and a petition by the ACLU of Nebraska.

Supporters and Native Americans from across the midwest met at Vogel park to celebrate Bearheels' life and raise awareness of this latest call for justice.

ACLU of Nebraska’s petition calls for several reforms that they say will increase police accountability.

Part of it calls for a ban on the use of tasers on mentally ill and vulnerable populations. Bearheels had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

“We’re not going to let the state of Nebraska or Omaha forget what happened to Zachary Bearheels and one of the reasons for that is to assure this doesn’t happen to anyone else," organizer Kevin Abourezk said.

Supporters have already started signing the online petition for the 29-year-old. A second billboard funded by ACLU of Nebraska and supporters is soon to be unveiled as well.

Three of the four officers involved in Bearheels' death were allowed to return to duty in April.

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