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Video released of police shooting that killed 'Cops' crew member

(WOWT)
Published: Apr. 25, 2018 at 11:22 AM CDT
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Attorneys for the City of Omaha were in court Tuesday, arguing that the city is not liable in a tragic case that happened years ago. The courts have just released a copy of the video that shows the fatal shooting of COPS crew member Bryce Dion in 2014. A Douglas County district judge ruled Tuesday the video could be released.

COPS crew member Bryce Dion was killed by police gunfire in 2014 while officers were responding to a restaurant robbery on Dodge Street.

Dion's brother, Trevor Dion, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and Langley Productions.

Bryce Dion, 38, had been working for the COPS television show in Omaha. He was with officers on the night of August 26, 2014 responding to a robbery at the Wendy’s at 43rd and Dodge.

Officers confronted Cortez Washington, 32, at the scene. Shots were fired. Both Dion and Washington were hit by police bullets. They both died. It later turned out that the weapon Washington had was an Airsoft pellet gun. The police chief said the Airsoft gun looked and sounded real. He said the officers had no choice but to fire.

The lawsuit filed by Trevor Dion as Bryce’s Personal Representative alleges, “negligent actions by the City, OPD and the Officer.”

The lawsuit alleges, “The City invited Bryce and his crew to accompany them (for) the purpose of promoting and projecting the image of the OPD and to promote public interest and support for OPD. OPD was to be observant of, and take all reasonable steps to, protect and assure the safety of the filming crew, including Bryce, at all times as they worked together. OPD required that Bryce and his crew be under the direction and charge of OPD Officers at all times while accompanying them, and while filming their activities.”

Regarding events that led up to the shooting, the lawsuit states, “Bryce positioned himself where told, when told, and acted in accord with police officer instructions.”

At the moment the gunfire began, the lawsuit states, “The perpetrator drew what appeared to be a pistol, but proved to be a pellet gun that simulated discharge. Police responded with live rounds of ammunition. They shot and killed the perpetrator. As they did so, they also shot and killed Bryce who was positioned as directed between at least one (1) police officer who arrived at the scene belatedly, other police officers, and the perpetrator.”

Attorney for the Deion family, Brian Jorde, said the city should be held liable. As far as the video of the incident, he believes the public can judge for themselves.

“We’re glad the video is out there for the public to see the public should always be informed of the activities of the police in cases like this and we’re glad that the judge saw fit to play it in court yesterday,” Jorde told 6 News.

The wrongful death lawsuit has yet to be settled. Omaha's legal department said they will not comment on pending litigation.