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64. Omaha Star, Oct. 8, 1981.

65. Mike Boyle, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

66. Fred Conley, interview in Omaha, Dec. 10, 1981.

67. James E. Fellows, letter to Thomas E. Steven, Jan. 19, 1982.

68. Jack Swanson, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

69. Ibid.

70. James Patterson, Marvin McClarty and Robert Dacus, interview in Omaha,

Dec. 8, 1981.

71. Gary Troutman, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

72. Fred Conley, interview in Omaha, Dec. 10, 1981.

73. Mary Jane Harvey, telephone interview, Nov. 13, 1981.

74. Fred Conley, interview in Omaha, Dec. 10, 1981.

75. James Patterson, Marvin McClarty, James Dacus, interview in Omaha,

Dec. 8, 1981.

76. Gary Troutman, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

77. U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Who Is Guarding the Guardians? (October

1981), pp. 23-29, 32-34.

78. Lt. Raymond Sorys, inter-office communication to Coordinator Alfred

Pattavina, Jr., Oct. 7, 1981.

79. Ruth Jackson, interview in Omaha, Dec. 10, 1981.

80. James Patterson, Robert Dacus, Marvin McClarty, interview in Omaha,

Dec. 8, 1981.

81. Omaha Police Manual, Vol. I, Con. 1-0, pp. 22-23, Sept. 1981.

82. Omaha Police Manual, Vol. I, Adm. 2-1, p. 1, March 1977.

83. Gary Troutman, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

84. James Patterson, Marvin McClarty, James Dacus, interview in Omaha,

Dec. 8, 1981.

85. Gary Troutman, comments on draft, Apr. 28, 1982.

86. Marvin McClarty, James Patterson and Robert Dacus, interview in Omaha,

Dec. 8, 1981.

87. Ibid.

88. Gary Troutman, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

89. Marvin McClarty, James Patterson, Robert Dacus, interview in Omaha,

Dec. 8, 1981.

In commenting on the draft, Mr. Troutman said that the

personnel department had offered to review the tests but had no response.

However, the department believes it could be of some assistance and is ready

to give assistance, Gary Troutman, comments on draft, Apr. 28,

1982.

90. Gary Troutman, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

91. Gary Troutman, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981 and Omaha World-Herald,

Nov. 11, 1981.

92. Gary Troutman, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

93. Marvin McClarty, James Patterson and Robert Dacus, interview in Omaha,

Dec. 8, 1981.

94. Gary Troutman, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

95. Gary Troutman, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

96. Marvin McClarty, James Patterson, Robert Dacus, interview in Omaha,

Dec. 8, 1981.

97. James Patterson, Robert Dacus and Marvin McClarty, interview in Omaha,

Dec. 8, 1981 and Omaha Police Manual, Vol. I, Trng 4-1, p. 1, November 1977.

98. Omaha Police Manual, Vol. I, Trng 4-1, p. 1, November 1977.

99. National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals,

Police (1973), p. 392.

100. U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Who Is Guarding the Guardians? (October

1981), p. 25.

101. James Patterson, Marvin McClarty and Robert Dacus, interview in Omaha,

Dec. 8, 1981.

102. Ibid.

103. Erven McSwain, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

104. Gary Troutman, interview in Omaha, Dec. 9, 1981.

105. Lt. Raymond P. Sorys, inter-office communication to Coordinator Alfred P.

Pattavina, Jr., Oct. 7, 1981.

106. Ibid.

107. Ibid.

108. Ibid.

109. Bernice Dodd, interview in Omaha, Sept. 24, 1981.

110. Francis Smith and others, interview in Omaha, Aug. 27, 1981.

111. Alvin M. Goodwin, Jr., telephone interview, Nov. 5, 1981 and Luke

Nichols, interview in Omaha, Aug. 27, 1981.

112. Mary Larsen, interview in Omaha, Aug. 26, 1981.

113. Ibid.

CHAPTER 4

USE OF FORCE

The National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals

has stated that:

Every police agency should define situations in which force is permitted, establish a range of alternatives to its use, and restrict it to the minimum amount necessary to achieve lawful police objectives.1

Deadly Force

The importance of policies on use of force, especially deadly force, was

stressed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in its report on police

practices:

Clearly-defined policies and guidelines are vital in the sensitive area of police use of deadly force because an officer may not have even a few seconds in which to assess the situation and decide whether to fire. There is little opportunity to determine the nature of the offense committed, the identity and age of the suspect, the reason for his flight, or whether he is carrying a weapon. Snap judgments on these factors often lead to tragic, unnecessary shootings and loss of life. Moreover, since this is a fleeing suspect, authorizing the officer to shoot essentially makes a police officer the prosecutor, jury, sentencing judge, and executioner, all in one moment. 2

Use of firearms, deadly force, by police officers has always been a matter

of concern for minorities. Paul Takagi, commenting in Crime and Social

Justice on the disproportionate number of black persons killed by police officers nationwide, stated that "police have one trigger finger for whites

and another for blacks.'13

Nebraska is one of the States which has adopted the Model Penal Code on use of force. This means that the decision to use deadly force is based on the danger presented by the actions of the suspect, not the crime committed.

This contrasts with the common law rule which allows deadly force to be used

against any person suspected of committing a felony. The problem with the

common law rule which has been codified by many States, is that today there

are many more crimes than in the past, some not dangerous, that are classified

as felonies.

The Nebraska law states that deadly force is not justified unless:

(a) The arrest is for a felony;

(b) Such person effecting the arrest is authorized to act as a peace officer or is assisting a person whom he believes to be authorized to act as a peace officer;

(c) The actor believes that the force employed creates no substantial risk of injury to innocent persons; and (d) The actor believes that:

(i) The crime for which the arrest is made involved conduct including the use or threatened use of deadly force; or

(ii) There is a substantial risk that the person to be arrested will cause death or serious bodily harm if his apprehension is delayed.5

Adoption of the Model Penal Code by the State in 1972 has not prevented

Omaha police from being involved in controversial incidents regarding the use

of force.

In January 1974 a police officer shot and wounded a 15-year-old who was

fleeing from a stolen car. Eyewitness accounts of the incident varied.

Some

stated that the officer firing the shot was within grabbing distance of the

youth when he fired. Others stated that another officer chasing the youth was in grabbing distance. One person stated that the officer who fired the shot had yelled a racial slur at the youth before firing. Then Chief Richard

Andersen stated that the officer was authorized to fire because he was

attempting to prevent escape of a felony suspect, even though he acknowledged such offenses are frequently reduced to misdemeanor charges. He asserted that

"If the crime later is determined to be less than a felony, that does not take away the officer's right to make a felony arrest.16

There was a series of incidents in the summer of 1974. On June 6 the

a

police were involved in a shootout with a sniper in the course of which one officer was killed and several others seriously wounded.? In the aftermath,

a black woman was shot by an officer in the course of her arrest for

disorderly conduct. The officer was accused by the division of not giving an

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