After social media posts accused one of the officers in the photo above of doing a "Nazi salute" towards the BLM demonstrators, the following statement was released by the Omaha Police Department:
Earlier today this photograph was brought to the attention of the Omaha Police Department. The photograph was immediately shown to Chief Todd Schmaderer. Chief Schmaderer directed Deputy Chief Scott Gray to investigate the details surrounding the photograph.
The officer in the photograph was identified and interviewed. There was body worn camera footage that shows that the officer in the picture was talking to other officers encouraging them to take a knee in support of the protesters. He explained that this gesture has worked in other communities. The video further shows that the protesters were chanting to the officers to take a knee. The officer had other officers join him in taking a knee. The officer then blew a kiss to the crowd extending his hand out and a photograph was taken of his hand extended. The officer then put his hand on his knee. The officer that had his hand extended stood up and gave a hug to an African American female. The body worn camera footage showed the female was appreciative and thanked the officer.
Thank you to the citizens that continue to bring their concerns to the Omaha Police Department. Chief Schmaderer will do a comprehensive review of all operations associated with the Omaha Police Department's response to the protests and subsequent property damage and violence that has occurred in the City.
If you are a citizen who was directly involved in an interaction with a law enforcement officer and felt the interaction was inappropriate, you may file a citizen complaint by contacting the Internal Affairs Department.
Attached are the photographs and a video that citizens have shared with us. The second photograph shows the officer hugging the citizen. (Below)