The Omaha Police Union president is pointing to a Friday assault of an officer as the latest example of why Nebraska needs to change its “good-time law”.
Malcolm Harris Jr., 31, was arrested on suspicion of felony assault on an officer in the Dundee area. He was out on bail at the time of the Friday incident for robberies he's accused of committing after being released from prison early under Nebraska's “good-time law.”
Harris was at the Douglas County Jail on Tuesday night. A judge set his bail at $87,500 in cash.
Omaha Police Union President John Wells said Harris is one of many examples of convicts who are released early from prison due to the law.
“It is shameful the way the state is pushing these violent offenders back on the street before they serve their full sentence, and they are continuing to reoffend,” Wells said.
The “good-time law” gives most prisoners one day off their sentence for each day they spend behind bars without violating prison rules. The law has come under scrutiny because Nikko Jenkins is accused of killing four people in the Omaha area within weeks after his July 30 release under the law.
Harris was sentenced to five to 13 years in prison for assault, terroristic threats, theft by receiving stolen property and other charges. After entering prison in 2005, he also was charged with assaulting an inmate and escaping while under arrest, among other charges.
Harris escaped from prison in 2009 while on furlough. He was later found, brought back to prison and paroled in 2011. Harris is accused of committing three robberies while on parole in October and November 2012, court records show. His parole was revoked, but he was back on the streets by December 2012.
In all, he served seven years of his 15-year sentence.
On Friday, police said Harris was arrested on suspicion of felony assault of an officer, giving false information and theft by receiving.
Police said officers patrolling in the area of 52nd Street and Underwood Avenue about 11:30 p.m. Friday were flagged down by a witness who reported a shirtless man in a street, acting erratically.
Officers said Harris was punching at the air and lunging at passing cars. He lunged at the officers, hitting one of them in the face. Police used a Taser to subdue Harris. He was taken to Nebraska Medical Center for a suspected drug overdose. Harris was arrested after his release from the medical center, police said.
World-Herald staff writer Jay Withrow contributed to this report.
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