March 25, 2013

CONTACT: Becki Brenner, (402) 476-8091,

LINCOLN - ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Becki Brenner released the following statement in response to an online video of an Omaha Police Department incident last week:

Whenever there is an allegation of misconduct, it has the potential to undermine a community's trust in law enforcement. I am pleased that the Omaha Police Department has said they will investigate this incident and the ACLU intends to monitor the situation.

The goal of criminal justice policies should be to keep our communities safe, treat people fairly, and use taxpayer dollars wisely. Any allegation of misconduct has the potential to interfere with all of these goals. Law enforcement officials, most of whom do their jobs professionally, are not able to keep communities safe if they have lost the trust of individuals in their community.

No matter what the facts were in this particular instance, the Omaha Police Department has a responsibility to build trust with the community they serve. Allegations such as this are not new, so we renew our calls to have the United States Department of Justice conduct an external investigation of the Omaha Police Department.