OMAHA — Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said Wednesday that he has authorized an internal investigation into an officer's behavior during the arrest of a boy.
Schmaderer said he became aware of a video of a Tuesday arrest that was circulating on social media. The video shows the arrest of the boy, described in the video as 12 years old, whose head is forcefully pushed against a police cruiser near 33rd and Burt streets.
"Chief Schmaderer immediately asked for the involved officers to be identified and has authorized an internal investigation" into the incident, according to a department statement.
A 15-second Facebook post shows an Omaha police officer pushing the boy's head into the side of a police cruiser before he puts the boy in the cruiser's back seat.
A police report on the incident said officers were sent to the Atlas Apartments at 2929 California St. at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a report of trespassing. Apartment staff told the officers that a group of juveniles had trespassed in the apartment complex's pool and that the same group of youths previously had caused vandalism and criminal mischief there.
Just before 3 p.m., officers were sent to a disturbance near 33rd and Burt, a few blocks from the apartment complex. The caller said four male juveniles were outside his apartment, refusing to leave. The man said the youths had arrived at his door asking about a missing or stolen iPad.
The man told officers that he had denied knowing anything about an iPad, but the youths refused to leave and acted aggressively.
One of the police officers then talked with six of the youths and recognized that several of them were in the video from the Atlas Apartments. More youths then approached, and the officer warned the group about trespassing at Atlas Apartments. The officer also confirmed that some of them had been asking about the iPad.
One of the youths then walked up to the officer, according to the police report, yelling profanities and acting aggressively. The officer warned the boy that his behavior was disorderly and that he needed to leave, but he refused.
According to the report, the boy encouraged other youths to yell at the officers. The boy then lunged toward the officer, was pushed away, then lunged again and was taken into custody, according to the report.
As the responding officer began placing the boy into handcuffs, the report said, the boy "kicked, fought, and struggled to get free." After a brief struggle, the report said, the boy was handcuffed and taken to the cruiser. He continued to struggle and threatened or tried to spit on an officer, but he ultimately was put into the cruiser, the report said.
The boy later was released to a parent or guardian and cited on suspicion of disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer.