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Omaha officials want to know more about 11 Worth Cafe closure

 At the request of Mayor Jean Stothert, Omaha Police are reviewing body-cam video to determine whether protests at the restaurant remained peaceful or became unlawful. Investigators are also looking into accusations of possible extortion. (WOWT)
At the request of Mayor Jean Stothert, Omaha Police are reviewing body-cam video to determine whether protests at the restaurant remained peaceful or became unlawful. Investigators are also looking into accusations of possible extortion. (WOWT) (WOWT)
Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 9:16 PM CDT
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Mayor Jean Stothert said Wednesday she wants to see police get to the bottom of several rumors regarding the closing of a longstanding Omaha eatery.

An Omaha Police investigation will help paint a narrative of what happened over a two-day protest outside 11 Worth Cafe earlier this month. As part of the investigation, Stothert asked the owner and his family meet with her and Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer to talk about the comments and subsequent protests.

, blaming threats to family members both on social media and at their homes. It all began when the owner's son called for lethal action against protesters on social media. He referred to it as target practice.

"He said he did not think they were racist comments — he did say that," Stothert said. "I saw them for the first time, and I wanted to say, 'What are you thinking?' Because they were terrible comments."

OPD is reviewing body-cam video to determine whether protests at the restaurant remained peaceful or became unlawful. Investigators are also looking into accusations of possible extortion.

Protesters originally called for a menu item named after Robert E. Lee to be changed and that a donation of $500-$1,000 be made to an African American organization. The owner agreed to the demands but some later said it wasn't enough — and demanded a seven-figure donation or they would shut the restaurant down.

The mayor said this is a serious allegation.

"That would be a felony, so we just wanted to make sure," she said. "We talked them through everything they did... everything they said they saw during each incident so with that, it will aid Chief Schmaderer in doing the internal investigation."

The owner of 11 Worth Cafe told the mayor he's not sure whether he will reopen, but that if he does, it will be at a new location. Stothert told 6 News she doesn't want to see an Omaha staple close for good.

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