We asked some people randomly Friday afternoon in north Omaha for their reaction to Police Chief Todd Schmaderer's Friday morning press conference. Here's what they said:
“I was astonished that someone is actually getting fired. Usually, they don't fire them. They suspend them without pay or something. ...
“They deserved it (to be fired). I don't mean that in a bad way. But what they did to those young men was unacceptable, and they were punished, and they deserved it. ...
"I don't think all police are bad. I'm actually pursuing a degree in criminal justice. (She's a student at Metro Community College.) I want to be a police officer. There's a lot of crime in Omaha, and I want to be a police officer to help stop it.
“I don't think these officers were bad. They made a mistake, and the mistake they made is going to help other officers, by teaching them not to use excessive force. Hopefully.”
— Secolia Harris, 21, a Metro Community College student pursuing a degree in criminal justice
* * *
“The police chief tried to make the changes, but I didn't like the fact that he tried to hide behind his options -- the county attorney, the FBI investigation, the police union. You're the boss, make the decision and live with it.
“These guys violated the trust of the people. They weren't doing anything. There was no reason to attack them; the officers who did should get charged at least with simple assault, just like if I hit you and you knew who I was.
“Any time you put on a badge, you aren't above the law either. I have a lot of respect for the police, because they do a reasonably good job. But when it comes down to stuff like that, they should be disciplined, and it should be transparent, and the public should be able to know the disciplinary records. Don't cover up anything.”
— Lonnie Easter Jr., 55
* * *
“The police need to stop bullying people; give some respect to citizens. ...
"I bet you they'll be back on the force in six months. There's too many people who have gone through the same thing for nothing. The last two police chiefs have fired officers who got put back on the force.
“If they fire these people and they stay fired, the other officers will respect the duties and the decisions of the chief.”
— Otha Council
* * *
“It was the right decision to fire them. I'm just happy. It's showing us that they do understand there's right and wrong, that we can trust in the police force, that they're going to do what they're supposed to do.”
— Latisha Gordon, 20
* * *
“All I can say is, the only way justice is going to be forced, is for there to be an investigation.
It seems harsh to fire them, but if you've been trained properly, you're going to act the right way, and they must not have been trained the right way.
“Things like that happen all the time, but this time it got caught on video. Still, it might have looked worse than it was.
“Police need to be trained the right way, so they act the right way, and don't react the wrong way.”
— Patricia Bass, 62
* * *
“That was fake. He (Police Chief Todd Schmaderer) looked like he was trying to fake us out or something. He was trying to please the people, tell us what we want to hear.”
— Demitri Champion, 32
* * *
“They deserve to be fired for beating him. They beat him up between two cars, and chased the other one into the house for videoing it. They tipped over a crippled lady.”
— DayeTrell Thomas, 15
* * *
“Their losing their jobs, they should have.
“I feel I go to work, I do home care, I take care of my clients to the best of my ability, but these cops -- they're not all bad, a lot of them are not bad -- but these cops in that video, they were not doing their job.”
— Jenita Crooms, 35