Update: Omaha Police Move Illegal Encampment

Early Thursday morning Omaha police officers peacefully removed a handful of protesters who were illegally camped out on city property at 24th and Farnam.

There were three arrests.

Wednesday the city suggested that the protesters take their activity to Elmwood Park where they would be required to have a permit and where they would have to abide by the hours of operation. In other words, the protesters would need to leave the park each night.

To get around those rules the protesters would have to get a waiver from the Omaha City Council.

In a news release, the Omaha Police Department detailed how the activity played out.

At 4:00 a.m. Omaha Police command and officers went to the south 24 St. site to make a final announcement to the persons camped out. The nine campers were told to leave or they would be arrested for criminal trespass.

An officer announced over the PA that the northwest corner of 24th and Farnam was City of Omaha Property and under the order of Omaha Chief of Police Alex Hayes anyone who chose to remain on this property would be arrested for Criminal Trespassing Request to Leave.

The officer further advised that people would be given a short amount of time to gather belongings and leave the property. After that if anyone remained they would be would be booked into Douglas County Corrections and their property would be taken and stored at the Omaha Police Impound Facility.

The officer also stated, “Your cooperation is appreciated.” The message was read over the PA three times to make sure all those who might be sleeping in the tents would hear the message.

Initially two people were arrested.

As the campers were clearing out their items they had asked some additional people to join them and help. While that was taking place police say a man identified as Benjamin Walden sat in the middle of the lot and stated he would not leave. Officers told him that he would be arrested if he refused to leave. He refused and was arrested for Criminal Trespass Request to Leave.

All three arrested were cooperative during the arrests. They were booked into Douglas County Corrections for Criminal Trespass & Request to Leave

The three people arrested are identified as 28-year-old Kathryn Heil,
31-year-old Nathaniel Davis, and 23-year-old Benjamin Walden.