Man in arrest video files complaint - Omaha.com
Published Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 1:00 am / Updated at 2:53 am
Man in arrest video files complaint

The man shown in a surveillance video being taken down roughly by Omaha police has filed a citizen's complaint against the officers.

Robert A. Wagner said he filed the complaint Tuesday morning. But, he said, it isn't the first time he has contacted the department's internal affairs unit about the incident.

Wagner, 35, was arrested May 29 outside Creighton University Medical Center on the day his cousin died from a gunshot wound. The arrest, in which he was Tasered, thrown to the ground and held by several officers, was captured on the hospital's surveillance camera and aired last week on public access TV, sparking outrage.

Wagner was arrested on a charge of assaulting an officer. Police have said he pushed and punched an officer in the parking lot — just outside the view of the surveillance camera.

Two Omaha police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave as a result of the arrest. The Police Department announced Monday that officers were put on leave but declined to release their names.

The World-Herald has learned that one of the officers was the woman seen on a videotape repeatedly kicking Wagner while he was pinned on the ground by several other officers. A person familiar with the case identified the woman as Officer Jackie Dolinsky, who has been on the force since late 2007.

Lt. Darci Tierney said both officers were placed on leave over the weekend while an internal investigation continues.

In an interview Tuesday, Police Chief Alex Hayes said the timing of the decision to place the officers on leave was coincidental to the public uproar. The timing stemmed only from investigators needing time be thorough and follow the process for internal inquiries laid out in the police union contract.

Hayes asked the public for patience while the investigation continues. He estimated it would conclude in no more than a couple of weeks.

Wagner said that since his arrest, he has had contact with Dolinsky and her sister, Officer Jodi Sautter. He said Sautter is the officer who Tasered him in the hospital parking lot that day.

Wagner said that on July 26, he was with his girlfriend, Chenea Starks, using a pay phone near his house when he saw Sautter and Dolinsky drive by. He and his girlfriend got into a car. The officers made a U-turn, then pulled them over, Wagner said.

Wagner said he told Dolinsky that he recognized her voice from the scene of his arrest outside the hospital. Her response, according to Wagner: "I didn't know it was you, Mr. Wagner."

The next day, Wagner called the department's internal affairs unit to report that he felt the officers were harassing him. They ticketed his girlfriend for failure to use a turn signal and no proof of insurance.

Wagner said he had an official interview with internal affairs Friday.

City Prosecutor Marty Conboy reviewed the tape from Wagner's arrest and declined to charge the officers involved. But on Tuesday, Conboy said he continues to review the incident as more information comes to light.

Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes requested in late June that the tape be turned over to Conboy, saying "something on that tape disturbed me."

Contact the writer:

402-444-1279, jason.kuiper@owh.com

Contact the writer: Todd Cooper

todd.cooper@owh.com    |   402-444-1275

Todd covers courts and legal issues for The World-Herald.

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