Protests Erupt After Omaha Police Fatally Shoots Black Man At Traffic Stop

Protests have erupted in Omaha, Nebraska after police fatally shot a 35-year-old Black man during a routine traffic stop.

Omaha police shot and killed Kenneth Jones, 35, on Thursday night (November 19) while responding to a traffic stop.

Police spotted a car with four people inside stopped in the middle of the road without its hazard lights on, they said in statements Friday (November 20) and Saturday (November 21).

The two officers involved in the stop, Dan Faulkner and Richard Martier, instructed all the people in the vehicle to put their hands up as they walked to the vehicle.

Police said in a statement Friday that the three other passengers complied with the order but Jones, who was not driving, did not and that the officers then used a flashlight to break the car window and open the door closest to Jones.

Police said video shows the two officers "struggling" to get Jones out of the car. Police claimed to have seen a gun on Jones during the struggle and fired four shots at him.

Police did not specify which officer fired the fatal shots and said they would provide more details at a news conference Monday (November 30). Police said the officers found a gun "directly underneath" Jones after they shot him.

Police said that after they shot Jones, the officers "yelled for him to show his hands," even though he had fallen to the ground from the shots. Jones was taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he died.

ProBLAC, a progressive Omaha-based group that advocates for racial justice, condemned the killing in a statement posted to Twitter on Friday, saying "there is no probable cause for him to have been asked to exit the vehicle."

"There is another Black man's blood on the hands of those 'protecting and serving.' Rest in Power, Kenny," the group wrote.

People gathered outside police headquarters Friday and Saturday night to protest the killing.

Peyton Zyla, an organizer with ProBLAC, told the Omaha World-Herald that "until [police] prove that they didn't murder a Black man, we're not shutting up — not one bit."

Police declared both protests "unlawful assemblies." On Friday, they arrested a protester for "assault of an officer" after he was alleged to have shined a "laser light" on an officer's face, and they said they made similar arrests for "assault" Saturday.

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