Officer involved in arrests of 3 brothers near 33rd, Seward resigns - Omaha.com
Published Friday, June 14, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 12:03 pm
Officer involved in arrests of 3 brothers near 33rd, Seward resigns

An Omaha police officer who was involved in the controversial arrests of three men near 33rd and Seward Streets has resigned.

Officer Christopher J. Olson's last day was June 2, said Steve Kerrigan, the city's human resources director.

Olson had five years on the force. Kerrigan declined to give a reason for the resignation.

A person familiar with the investigation into the arrests of three brothers said Thursday that authorities were seeking to question Olson about whether he had turned off a cruiser camera or cameras that were taping during the incident.

The March 21 arrests of Octavious, Juaquez and Demetrius Johnson caused a public outcry and resulted in the firing of four officers — two of whom have been criminally charged. The charges grew out of alleged evidence tampering inside the Johnson home.

Members of the Johnson family also say police used excessive force in the arrest of Octavious Johnson, 28, an incident recorded on a neighbor's cellphone camera.

Prosecutors allege that Officer James Kinsella destroyed a memory card that contained video of the arrests and that his boss, Sgt. Aaron Von Behren, conspired to orchestrate officers' stories about the incident.

Kinsella is charged with felony evidence tampering and misdemeanor obstruction and theft. Von Behren faces two misdemeanors: obstruction and accessory to a felony.

Kinsella on Thursday waived his preliminary hearing on the felony charge. He is scheduled for trial in Douglas County District Judge Peter Bataillon's courtroom.

Neither Kinsella nor Von Behren appealed the firings, and the deadline for appealing has passed. The other fired officers — Bradley D. Canterbury and Justin A. Reeve — are trying to get their jobs back.

Officers Dyea L. Rowland, Matthew C. Worm, John D. Payne and Joseph A. Koenig were reassigned or placed on administrative leave.

Contact the writer:

402-444-3100, maggie.obrien@owh.com

Contact the writer: Maggie O'Brien

maggie.o'brien@owh.com    |   402-444-3100    |  

Maggie is a cops and breaking news reporter for Omaha.com.

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