Police Union frustrated by repeat offenders back on the streets

Published: Sep. 14, 2016 at 5:17 PM CDT
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Omaha police arrested four bank robbery suspects after a manhunt in northwest Omaha last Friday. But the Omaha Police Association said officers are frustrated; all of the suspects have been arrested before, some multiple times.

Among them was 23-year-old Freddie Johnson IV. He was arrested two years ago for another bank robbery and was released just seven months ago. The other three: 21-year-old Steven Muldrew, 24-year-old Shaun Murph Jr. and 22-year-old Marquis Warren all have similar rap sheets.

All four suspects have weapons charges. The Omaha Police Association says they believe they are arresting the same people over and over again.

“Once we make the arrest things are out of our hands to a point judges got to make sentences. Attorneys and prosecutors have to find the deal that works best for them based on the evidence they have. Sure it’s frustrating. You know you arrest a guy with a gun, for example, and you see him a month later you kind of look at him crossed eyed like how are you out?” said OPOA’s Dennis Sexton.

Sexton says he says it happens more than you think; people they arrest multiple times caught up in a criminal lifestyle and put back on the streets over and over again.

Freddie Johnson was released from prison in February on robbery charges.

“Trying to keep the community safe, trying to keep yourself safe - these guys get into some really violent stuff. We don't want them affecting the community. We don't want to run across them. Every time we run across somebody with a weapon it endangers everybody,” said Sexton. “Odds keep going up you hope they make the right decision and things don't have to go sideways.”

Sexton says he knows it takes time, but he hopes the legislature would help with tougher laws and longer sentences for people who make crime a career.

“I guess we gotta keep making noise about it until these changes happen before something again happens in the city,” he said.

Nebraska State Senator Robert Hilkeman says there was a measure on habitual criminals introduced last year, but it never made it to the floor.