Omaha police officer charged, accused of threatening teens

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha police officer has been charged with felony counts and placed on leave after being accused of using a gun to threaten teens who pounded on his and other doors in the officer’s neighborhood late at night.

Officer Ja’Price Spears, 43, appeared in Sarpy County Court on Wednesday on two counts of making terroristic threats and one count of use of a firearm to commit a felony, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Prosecutors have said the charges stem from an incident in early April, when the three teens reportedly pounded on doors in Spears’ Gretna neighborhood some time after midnight.

Officials said Spears drove after the teens, pulled over their vehicle and detained and handcuffed two of them until Sarpy County sheriff’s deputies arrived and charged the juveniles with disturbing the peace.

Days later, the teens’ parents complained about the use of force during the incident, and an investigation led to an arrest warrant for Spears, who has been an Omaha officer since December 2015.

Spears was released Wednesday and scheduled to next appear in court later this month.