2 Omaha officers charged with assault in mentally ill man’s death
By Brian Seay
Former Omaha Police officers Ryan McClarty, right, and Scotty Payne are facing assault charges.
Two officers in Nebraska are facing assault charges in connection with a mentally ill man’s death earlier this year.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine revealed police video Wednesday, showing former Omaha officers Scotty Payne and Ryan McClarty repeatedly shocking 29-year-old Zachary Bearheels and punching him while he was on the ground. Payne is being charged with second-degree assault for shocking Bearheels 12 times, while McClarty is facing a third-degree assault charge for punching Bearheels 13 times, according to the Associated Press.
A Native American from Oklahoma, Bearheels was lost in Omaha after he’d been kicked off a bus there on June 5. The officers responded to a call at a convenience store of a man causing a disturbance. Police say he fought their efforts to take him into custody.
“Are you going to get into the car?” a female officer can be heard asking him in the video. “No?”
When Bearheels wouldn’t get up off the ground, Payne pulled the trigger of the stun gun — sending 50,000 volts into him. His legs darted around for a few seconds.
“Get up,” an officer said. That’s when Bearheels got free of his handcuffs