6th Omaha police officer loses job over 33rd, Seward Street arrests - Omaha.com
Published Friday, January 10, 2014 at 12:00 am / Updated at 1:04 am
6th Omaha police officer loses job over 33rd, Seward Street arrests

A sixth Omaha police officer involved in the arrests of three north Omaha brothers — and an alleged evidence-tampering cover-up — has lost his job.

Officer John D. Payne was terminated Thursday, people with knowledge of an internal investigation told the World-Herald. The move came a day after the firing of another officer, Dyea L. Rowland.

The two latest firings mark the official end of a lengthy internal investigation into the March 21 incident at 33rd and Seward Streets.

They cap an already unprecedented response from department officials, in which four other officers were terminated, three were placed on administrative leave and one was reassigned to other duties.

It's not clear what roles Payne and Rowland played in the incident. Both had been with the department since 2008.

Rowland was one of the first three officers who arrived on the scene to handle a parking complaint. She is visible on a video captured by a neighbor.

The video shows another early responder, Officer Bradley D. Canterbury, throwing Octavious Johnson to the ground, handcuffing Johnson and later appearing to strike him several times.

Canterbury, who was one of the four officers fired in April, has appealed his termination and is awaiting an arbitrator's decision.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine, who also investigated the incident, determined that Canterbury acted within the law.

Two of the other previously fired officers were later charged with crimes and did not attempt to get their jobs back.

One of the two, Officer James Kinsella, was charged with felony evidence tampering and misdemeanor obstruction and theft. He is accused of destroying a memory card of a camera that Juaquez Johnson used to record police officers' actions at the scene.

Kinsella's supervisor, Sgt. Aaron Von Behren, faces misdemeanor charges for allegedly orchestrating a cover-up over the stolen footage.

The other fired officer, Justin A. Reeve, did not appeal his termination.

Payne and Rowland were among the officers who had previously been put on leave or reassigned. The others were Matthew C. Worm and Joseph A. Koenig.

“As I have previously stated, we did not carry ourselves in a manner representative of the Omaha Police Department in this incident,” Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said in a statement released Thursday evening. “I am confident in saying the Omaha Police Department is a better department in the aftermath of this incident.”

All 32 officers who responded to the scene, as well as Schmaderer, are being sued by the Johnson family in federal court. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit this week on behalf of the family.

The suit alleges that the officers used excessive force and completed a search without a warrant. Family members are seeking punitive damages from four officers and compensation for medical expenses and property damage. They also want police officers to get more training on the rights of people who film police activities.

Warning: This video of the 2013 incident contains obscene language.

Contact the writer: Erin Golden

erin.golden@owh.com    |   402-444-1543    |  

Erin covers the Omaha City Council and the Mayor's Office.

Primary battle between Battiato, Morrissey may be only race
UNMC appoints new dean for the college of dentistry
Jeff Corwin hopes to build connection with nature at Nebraska Science Festival
Metro transit recommends streetcar, rapid-transit bus line for Omaha
6-mile stretch of Highway 75 is the road not taken
After decades looking in, Republican Dan Frei seeks chance to take action
Cause of Omaha power outage along Regency Parkway unclear
Ben Sasse, Shane Osborn try to pin label of D.C. insider on each other
Curious about government salaries? Look no further
Easter Sunday temperatures climb into 80s in Omaha area
Omaha police investigate two nonfatal shootings
City Council to vote on adding Bluffs pedestrian safety lights
Sole big donor to Beau McCoy says he expects nothing in return
Convicted killer Nikko Jenkins might await his sentence in prison
Kelly: 70 years after a deadly D-Day rehearsal, Omahan, WWII vet will return to Europe
Midlands runners ready for Boston Marathon
Families from area shelters treated to meal at Old Chicago
Firefighters battle brush fire near Fontenelle Forest
Sioux City riverboat casino prepares to close, still hoping to be saved
Omaha high schoolers to help canvass for Heartland 2050
Mizzou alumni aim to attract veterinary students to Henry Doorly Zoo
Grant ensures that Sioux City can start building children's museum
Party looks to 'nudge' women into public office in Iowa
For birthday, Brownell-Talbot student opts to give, not get
Two taken to hospital after fire at Benson home
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Kelly: 70 years after a deadly D-Day rehearsal, Omahan, WWII vet will return to Europe
A World War II veteran from Omaha will return this week to Europe to commemorate a tragedy in the run-up to D-Day.
Dickson’s Week in Review, April 13-19
On Twitter some guy tweeted that the spring game isn’t taken as seriously as a regular-season contest. What was your first clue? When the head coach entered waving a cat aloft?
Kelly: A California university president returns to her Nebraska roots on Ivy Day
The main speaker at today's Ivy Day celebration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a college president who grew up roping calves and earned her Ph.D. at the prestigious Oxford University in England.
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Meridian Med Spa
50% Off Botox®, Botox® Bridal Party, Fillers and Peels
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »