UPDATE: Omaha Police make arrests at HQ protest; Problac organizer defends group’s actions

Protesters are demanding authorities release body camera footage of Kenneth Jones’ shooting
Problac protest Nov. 20, 2020
Problac protest Nov. 20, 2020(WOWT)
Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 5:10 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2020 at 12:05 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha Police late Saturday declared protests at their headquarters unlawful and ordered those gathered there to disperse and anyone else to avoid the area.

According to a post just before 11 p.m. on the official OPD Twitter account, arrests had already been made for assault, and officers were warning others remaining in the area after a 10:25 p.m. announcement to leave could also be arrested.

Earlier Saturday, a protest organizer was defending the actions by protesters during a demonstration outside Omaha Police Headquarters on Friday night. Police declared an unlawful assembly due to property destruction and violence, authorities said.

At one point, a crowd of more than 100 people with Problac was gathered at 15th and Howard Streets.

Another event by the group is scheduled for Saturday night.

The group acknowledged that last night’s demonstration turned violent and ask demonstrators to “come prepared” Saturday night since things escalated.

Police declared an unlawful assembly due to property destruction and violence, authorities said.

Demonstrators’ goal Saturday night is to push police to release the body camera footage of the traffic stop that ultimately led to the shooting death of Kenneth Jones.

Police said those at the protest Friday night targeted officers with eggs and ripped caution tape put up by officers to section off the area.

“People are more concerned about order than justice. Justice is transparency, order is focusing on an egg or caution tape. Justice is transparency,” said Bear Alexander, a Problac organizer.

On Friday, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert promised transparency during the investigation. Ultimately, a grand jury will decide whether OPD was justified in shooting Jones.

Protesters said they planned to gather at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Digital Director Gina Dvorak contributed to this story.

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