Ernie Chambers says police hustled only after white woman killed -
Published Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 10:26 pm
Ernie Chambers says police hustled only after white woman killed

LINCOLN — State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha said he is troubled by what he sees as racial aspects to the investigation of accused killer Nikko Jenkins.

Chambers cited authorities' comments that ballistics tests allowed them to make a connection between the Aug. 11 slayings of Jorge Cajiga-­Ruiz and Juan Uribe-Pena and the Aug. 19 shooting death of Curtis Bradford.

He questioned why investigators didn't appear to be more aggressively seeking the person who purchased the ammunition used in those killings until after Andrea Kruger, a white woman, was killed on Aug. 21.

Authorities have since charged Jenkins, 26, with four counts of first-­degree murder.

In a statement, Omaha Police Lt. Darci Tierney said the department “gives our utmost attention to investigating each and every homicide. Every victim has family and friends that are deeply affected and we strive to provide closure for everyone, including our community.

“It's unfortunate the public doesn't get to see all the painstaking work that goes into every homicide investigation regardless of who the victim is.”

Chambers said authorities apply a different standard when the victim is white.

“They were going to try to do something to put white people's minds at ease,” he said, noting that the three other victims were members of minority groups.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer has said his investigators knew they were pursuing an “indiscriminate” killer after the ballistics match. The slayings crossed racial and geographic lines in a way that most killings don't, he said.

Authorities also feared the killer would strike again, he said.

The day after Bradford died, police went to a Canfield's store to retrieve video of a woman they say bought the ammunition that was used in that killing and the double homicide at Spring Lake Park.

The next day, Kruger was shot at 168th and Fort Streets.

The woman in the video has been identified as Christine Bordeaux, 39, who is charged in a federal indictment with being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Contact the writer: Joe Duggan    |  

Joe works in the Lincoln bureau, where he helps cover state government, the Legislature, state Supreme Court and southeast Nebraska.

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