Fifth Omaha police officer loses job over 33rd, Seward arrests -
Published Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 1:00 am / Updated at 7:28 pm
Fifth Omaha police officer loses job over 33rd, Seward arrests

A fifth Omaha police officer has been fired over the controversial arrests of three brothers at a north Omaha home last year.

Officer Dyea L. Rowland was terminated Thursday, people with knowledge of the investigation told The World-Herald.

The termination comes as the Police Department is wrapping up a lengthy investigation into the incident at 33rd and Seward Streets — some of which was captured on video by a neighbor.

Rowland was one of four officers placed on administrative leave or reassigned after the incident.

The March 2013 incident began with a parking complaint and escalated into a chaotic scene to which 32 officers responded.

This week, the American Civil Liberties Union, working on behalf of Octavius, Juaquez, Demetrius, Sharee and Sharon Johnson, filed suit in federal court against the city and all the responding officers. They allege the officers used excessive force and completed a search without a warrant.

Four other officers were fired in April; two were later charged with crimes.

Officer James Kinsella, who reportedly destroyed a memory card and camera used by the Johnsons to record the arrests, was charged with felony evidence tampering and misdemeanor obstruction and theft. His supervisor, Sgt. Aaron Von Behren, faces misdemeanor charges for allegedly arranging a cover-up.

Kinsella, Von Behren and a third fired officer, Justin A. Reeve, didn't appeal their terminations.
In June, a judge ordered Rowland to cooperate with prosecutors in the case against Kinsella. Authorities asked for the order because they believed Rowland would refuse to testify in order not to incriminate herself.

Officer Bradley D. Canterbury, who was filmed punching Octavius Johnson after the officer had thrown Johnson to the ground, appealed his firing and is awaiting an arbitrator's decision.

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

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

Contact the writer: Erin Golden    |   402-444-1543    |  

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

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