OMAHA — A family has filed a lawsuit after their home was violently invaded and they were beaten and abused by a swarm of police officers.
It began when Octavius Johnson noticed a group of officers outside of his home.
They were standing near his car and calling a tow truck over to have it impounded. They were doing this because Octavius’s car did not have new registration tags on the licence plate.
Octavius peacefully went outside and tried to dialog with the officers.
That’s when one officer can be seen coming up from behind and attacking Octavius, grabbing him by the neck and yanking him backwards onto the concrete.
The officer looked around and checked to make sure nobody was observing, then continued punching Octavius in the head while Octavius was restrained, according to the complaint.
Then the officer threatened to murder Octavius.
“He went around my neck, threw me to the ground, choked me out to the point where I couldn’t breathe or speak and kept punching me in the face. Then he said ‘Do you want to die today?’”
Fortunately, Octavius’s brother came to the sidewalk and began filming the incident. He can be heard yelling “Why are you hitting him?!”
But officers ended up destroying the brother’s camera and memory card, the complaint states.
The entire block was clogged with squad cars and officers were seen running in multiple directions.
They had no idea that another neighbor was filming everything from a home across the street.
With Octavius beaten and pinned to the ground, they then barged into his family’s house with no warrant and began attacking the rest of his family.
Inside the home, one of the officers placed his hand on an elderly aunt’s wheelchair and tipped it to the side, causing her to be thrown to the ground, according to the complaint. She had to be rushed to the hospital for injuries.
The ACLU has issued a press release, stating that four members of the family were attacked and their privacy was invaded “despite the fact that no crime, drugs, or weapons were involved.”
Included in the press release are statements from two members of the family.
Octavius Johnson’s statement: “I feel like I am on the opposite end of justice. A parking ticket turned into officers storming my house and me being thrown to the ground and put into a chokehold. When I was on the ground and police ran towards my house, I was worried about the family that raised me. I have seen incidents like this happen to other people. I now know that something like this could happen to not just my family, but any family.”
Sharon Johnson’s statement: “Officers entered the home while I was watching from the front door. Juaquez enters and next thing I know an officer enters, throws my wheelchair and me out of the way. I end up with the wheelchair on top of me, my legs in the air. Several officers continued to walk over me as they entered the house… I ended up in handcuffs. It wasn’t until a family member came by later that I was able to get back into my wheelchair. I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. I still have physical pain from that day.”
Four of the officers were fired after the video surfaced and of those four, only two are facing criminal charges.
In total, the lawsuit names Todd Schmaderer, Chief of Police, eight named officers, and 24 unnamed officers, according to the ACLU press release.