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Activists call for release of bodycam footage after deadly officer-involved shooting during Nebraska traffic stop

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 11/21/2020 Jessica Schladebeck

The deadly officer-involved shooting of a 35-year-old Black man during a traffic stop in Nebraska has triggered demands for the release of body camera footage of the incident.

Mayor Jean Stothert during a press conference on Friday said video of the shooting death of Kenneth Jones is currently being investigated by the Omaha Police Department. She told reporters witnesses are also still being interviewed as part of the investigation.

Following the police probe, the evidence will be reviewed by a grand jury, who will then determine whether the Omaha police officers involved will be indicted on any criminal charges. Only then will authorities consider releasing bodycam footage of the confrontation to the public, Stothert told reporters.

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer in a statement said two officers on Thursday initiated a traffic stop with a vehicle carrying four people just before 7:30 p.m. When they exited their cruiser and approached the car, they spotted Jones moving around in his back seat.

The officers ordered everyone to put their hands outside of the car windows, but police said Jones ignored the demands. Officers then broke the window, opened the door and struggled to pull the 35-year-old from the car.

a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Kenneth Jones, 35, was shot and killed by Omaha police on Thursday night. © Provided by New York Daily News Kenneth Jones, 35, was shot and killed by Omaha police on Thursday night.

Kenneth Jones, 35, was shot and killed by Omaha police on Thursday night.

Schmaderer said footage from a police cruiser camera showed officers telling Jones, “Keep your hands where I can see them.”

An officer then says, “Watch his right hand,” and then, “He’s got a gun.”

“The officer yelled ‘Gun! Gun! Gun!’ Seconds later, four shots are fired,” Schmaderer said.

Jones was struck by the gunfire and rushed to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.

Schmaderer added that a Springfield .45-caliber handgun, with a round in the chamber, was discovered on the ground directly beneath Jones.

Authorities have not said what prompted the traffic stop.

The fatal shooting sparked a series of protests, including one outside police headquarters late Friday night. Authorities administered tear gas and at least two people were arrested amid the demonstration.

Both officers were placed on administrative leave, per department policy. Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol have also been assisting in the investigation, authorities said.

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