On June 5, 2017, 0fficers were called to investigate a man causing a disturbance at a gas station at 60th & Center. It turned out to be a man named Zachary Bear Heels. Bear Heels had been traveling on a bus to his home in Oklahoma. He was asked to leave the bus when it stopped in Omaha. He eventually found himself at the gas station in the middle of the night.
Officers spoke on the phone with his mother who asked them to place him in a Crisis Center until she could drive from Oklahoma to pick him up.
However, Bear Heels struggled with officers. At one point an officer tased him 12 times and Bear Heels died soon after. His cause of death was determined to be excited delirium.
His mother, Renita Chalepah, later filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging among other things that police used excessive force. She did not specify an amount for damages. Federal court documents indicate a federal judge ordered both sides on August 3 to file for dismissal because of a settlement.
Four officers were there during the Bear Heels encounter. One of them, Scotty Payne, was fired for his actions. Three others were disciplined. Two of the officers were criminally charged. Payne was tried for second-degree assault but acquitted during a jury trial. The county attorney later dropped misdemeanor charges against the other officer after determining it could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer was not justified in his actions.
Police cruiser video showed Bearheels being repeatedly shocked with a stun gun and punched in the face by officers, with some of the blows coming after he was handcuffed and sitting limply on the ground.
Zachary Bear Heels Settlement
The city of Omaha has agreed to pay more than a half-million dollars to the mother of a mentally ill man who died in a confrontation with police in 2017. The city will pay $550,000 to Renita Chalepah, the mother of 29-year-old Zachary Bearheels, to settle her wrongful death lawsuit.
Vote For David Mitchell City Council District 2
Omaha city council future candidate David Mitchell completely disagrees with city councilman Ben Gray of North Omaha who believes the Omaha police department was “transparent” with this situation. The truth is that the Omaha police department has not been transparent on this case and they need to press criminal charges on the officers.
This calls for a manslaughter charge at the least because a life was lost by reckless police officers. Omaha city councilman Ben Gray has not represented North Omaha properly in this situation and has once again let down the community.
It is Time For a Change! It is Time To Grow North Omaha!
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