OMAHA, Neb. (FOX42KPTM) - The center of Omaha, 72nd and Dodge, filled up quickly with protesters Friday night. They were there to voice their displeasure and outrage following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Friday night was by no means unique. Six years ago, protesters also filled that same intersection following the death of a teenager in Missouri to a police shooting.
In Ferguson, rioting took place and buildings were burned. It's similar to Minneapolis now and an incident some 50 years ago in Omaha.
"The comparisons are really, really relevant," said Adam Fletcher Sasse, who documents north Omaha history.
Fletcher Sasse grew up in north Omaha and has his own website filled with pictures and memories. That includes the turmoil of the 1960s.
"In 1969, the last riot in Omaha was sparked by a police shooting of a 14-year-old African-American girl named Vivian Strong."
That led to demonstrations and violence.
"There were fires and smoke was coming up from those fires."
UNO criminal justice expert Justin Nix doesn't excuse violent behavior, but he says there are lessons to be learned.
"It's incumbent on officers to speak up when they see wrongdoing."
The experts believe partnerships and communication between police and diverse groups can also help.
"I applaud Chief [Todd] Schmaderer for speaking up as have a number of other chiefs across the country."
"There needs to be more outreach," said Fletcher Sasse.
One Omaha partnership organization is Omaha 360. It was founded in 2008. The nonprofit works with attorneys and elected officials in addition to police.