The Omaha Police Department remains in the public’s eye after Tuesday’s tragic shooting death of reality TV’s COPS crew member Bryce Dion.
There are many questions still about what happened, why multiple shots were fired and is this a case of excessive force?
President of the Omaha Police Officers Association Sgt. John Wells defends the actions of the three officers involved.
“We have a lot of arm chair police experts around the country and unfortunately from a place of not understanding the law that dictates how and why we can use force and how firearms really work. It is a really complicated situation,” Wells says.
Tuesday evening police say Cortez Washington walked into a Wendy’s in midtown Omaha pointed a gun at employees and demanded cash. Three Omaha officers responded along with two members of TV’s “Cops”. Witnesses say Washington fired first and the officers returned fire killing Washington. One bullet struck and killed Dion. It turned out Washington was carrying an air soft gun.
Sgt Wells says that is why Nebraska lawmakers must pass a facsimile firearm law. As the law stands now a person committing a crime using that type of gun would not be charged with a felony. He says in Tuesday’s case even Omaha officers couldn’t tell the gun wasn’t real. Passing the law would make it a felony if someone uses anything that looks like a weapon, even a toy, to commit a crime.