Who is Kenneth Jones?
Kenneth Jones is a black man from South Omaha who was shot and killed during a vehicle stop. At least two demonstrators who gathered in the Old Market section on Friday night to protest the deadly police shooting of a Black man were taken into custody after police declared an unlawful assembly.
Omaha police have released the preliminary report Friday night on what investigators say leading up to an officer shooting and killing an Omaha man who was black.
How old was Kenneth Jones?
Kenneth Jones was 35 years old at the time of death.
Kenneth Jones: What is the story with the traffic stop?
Officers say it all started Thursday night just before 7:30 in South Omaha. The car stopped at 27th and Harrison Street. The department has not said the reason for the traffic stop.
The report says body cameras caught the officers yell “stop reaching” toward the car as they were getting out of their cruiser. Investigators say the backseat passenger, who was later identified as Kenneth Jones, 35, moved around as the officers walked toward the car.
According to the report, which sites body camera footage and audio, the officers yelled “everybody, hands up” as they got closer to the car.
They say three of the four people in the car put their hands outside the window, except for Jones.
They say the officers repeated the commands three times.
The protest is now on the move. The crowd is heading towards the Old Market. pic.twitter.com/vw67bRjWZR
— FOX 42 KPTM (@FOX42KPTM) November 21, 2020
Officer breaks car window
The report goes on to say the officer on the driver’s side tried to open Jones’ door several times while yelling at him to “open the door”.
Eventually, the report says the officer used his flashlight to break the car window then open the door. According to the report, the officer told Jones to get out of the car while reaching in to grab him.
Investigators say body camera footage shows Jones turning and moving toward the passenger side of the car.
The report, citing body camera footage, says Jones pulled away from officers as they pulled him from the car.
Kenneth Jones shot to death
Eventually, the report says officers managed to get him out of the car but does not say how much time passed.
The report says, in cruiser camera audio, an officer can be heard telling Jones to keep his hands where the officer can see them.
It goes on to say the same officer yells “Watch his right hand! He’s digging! He’s digging! He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!”
According to the report, still referencing cruiser camera audio, the officer yells “gun” three times. It says “seconds later”, but does not say exactly how many, four shots are fired.
The report says officers started CPR but does not say how soon. It says a .45 caliber handgun with a “round in the chamber” was found on the ground underneath Jones.
Jones was pronounced dead at the hospital.
“We would like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Kenneth Jones and the rest of the community that are affected by this incident. We are committed to conducting a thorough investigation and providing the public with complete details. The investigation is progressing and we ask for patience until it is complete. We will keep the public updated as additional information is verified” –Chief Todd Schmaderer
The report says only one officer fired their gun.
What witnesses say about the incident
The report outlines a number of statements officers say witnesses made Thursday night. Those in the car, according to the report, say they heard the officers yelling to show their hands.
The report says the passengers told investigators they did not know if Jones had a gun on him. The report says other witnesses told them they heard officers’ commands for people to show their hands.
According to the report, one witness told investigators he heard officers yell “he’s got a gun” before seeing Jones reach for his waistband.
The report says he told investigators he assumed Jones had a gun as he turned back toward officers.
What body camera footage shows
Omaha police say both officers on the scene were wearing body cameras, that the cameras were activated and recorded the shooting.
The report does say one of them came undone during the struggle and did not catch everything on camera, but the whole thing can be heard in the audio.
According to the report, the camera on the officer who shot Jones did catch the entire shooting on both audio and video.
What we know so far
The report says the Douglas County Attorney did go to the shooting Thursday night.
The Nebraska State Patrol will step in to assist the Omaha Police Officer-Involved Investigations Team, in accordance with an agreement between the two law enforcement departments.
The two officers are on paid administrative leave as is department policy. Officers have not been identified, but Omaha mayor Jean Stothert said Friday both were hired to the department in 2016.
Investigators say the officer’s gun will be part of ballistic testing and the gun the report says Jones had will be traced through the ATF database.
Both officers are scheduled to be interviewed by Saturday.