Police Officer Reinstated After Over A Year
OMAHA (kptm) - A police officer is back on the force after being fired for using excessive force on a man. Over a year ago several officers beat a man outside Creighton University medical center. It was caught on camera and two officers were terminated. Now they are both back at work.
"I knew he would get his job back."
Over a year and a half ago, Robert Wagner says he was pinned to the ground by Officer Aaron Pennington and several other officers. Surveillance video shows the officers repeatedly punching and kicking him. They say the scuffle started after Wagner hit an officer. However, even after serving time, he still says he's innocent. "There's 68 camera angles, so why didn't one show me hitting a police officer, but it's their word against ours and we lose every time," Wagner says.
Officer Aaron Pennington and Officer Jackie Dolinsky were fired for the attack after the chief deemed them guilty of excessive force. An independent arbitrator ruled both officers did not use excessive force. John Wells with the Omaha Police Officers Association says, "Thankfully they have the right to appeal that termination and appeal that discipline to an independent fact finder, an arbitrator who takes the emotion and the politics out of that type of decision and ways it just on facts and based on those facts has reinstated Aaron Pennington."
Pennington has since been reinstated with full benefits and even back pay. "I expected it because it always happens time after time ya know, our people we get murdered on the street and ya know nothing is done about it," Wagner says.
Officer Pennington did receive a two day suspension from the force for filing incomplete reports in this case. He will return to duty after completing training.