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Family of slain member of the Omaha Tribe will not let the police get away with "murder"

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A family of a 44-year-old American Indian man killed by Omaha police will be taking criminal and civil action against the City of Omaha and the Omaha Police Department. And on July 7, a demonstration will commence early in the morning outside the statehouse in Lincoln, Neb., and the protest will last well into the night. This protest and civil-awareness event is being sponsored by the family of the victim, Lance McIntire, in conjunction with the Strongheart Warrior Society.

Lance McIntire, married to a beautiful, 29-year-old woman, Ashley McIntire, has three grown children. He made his living as a handy man and repairman for rental properties around the Omaha area, family members said.

"This young man was taken by senseless violence. Lance was my nephew," said Canupa Gluha Mani, leader of the Strongheart Warrior Society, based in South Dakota.

"The police should have more sensitive life-skill training to handle these types of circumstances and we're going to demand that these state legislators come up with laws that make it mandatory for police to handle these situations in a humane and sensible manner by not always just jumping to using the ultimate sanction, killing these victims. Young Native men are the biggest targets," Mani told this writer in a recent telephone interview.

Lance McIntire was Native American and was an enrolled member of The Omaha Tribe. He was murdered Thursday, April 7, near the corner of L Street and 31st Street in Omaha, Neb., while inside his car, a red 2002 Toyota Camry.

Lance McIntire, slain by an Omaha, Neb., police gang unit in early April, and his wife, Ashley, had a beautiful life together until his murder.
Lance McIntire, slain by an Omaha, Neb., police gang unit in early April, and his wife, Ashley, had a beautiful life together until his murder.
(Image by Ashley McIntire)
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Julia Ramirez, Lance's sister, said there were problems with the police report. "There are all sorts of conflicting stories," she told this writer in a recent telephone interview.

"At the crime scene, there was no crime lab present. People who witnessed this say there was no forensics team sent to the scene," Ramirez said.

"And there was evidence tampering at the scene. We have pictures of the car's bumper that fell off the car. In the photos taken at the scene, one picture shows the bumper near the car and another picture shows the bumper moved to another area of the parking lot, far away from the car," Ramirez said.

Hermus Lone Dog, Lance's brother-in-law, who is married to Lance's sister, Dena, also told this writer in a telephone interview that there is conflicting evidence concerning the police shooting itself. Conflicting reports, even in the media, are muddled. One report claims Lance McIntire was killed by an African-American police officer, while another report claims there were two police officers who shot and killed Lance.

All told, media reports claim 16 shots were fired at McIntire and that four shots entered his body. A media report KETV-7 claims that all 16 shots were fired by Omaha Police Department Detective Dale Thomas.

It is not certain whether Lance McIntire had a gun in his car. Although the police claim he had a .22-caliber pistol in his vehicle, witnesses at the scene say they never saw a gun. Also, witnesses claim Lance McIntire did not brandish any type of weapon while he was being fired upon. If there was a gun in the car, witnesses and family members agree, it was in the back seat of the vehicle.

All shots were fired by police from a Glock .40-milimeter, standard-issue police handgun, or possibly even handguns, in the plural sense, Omaha human rights activist D'Shawn Cunningham told this writer, who added that Lance's vehicle was immediately impounded by the Omaha Police Department but it was released to the family a short time later. This also raises questions concerning alleged evidence tampering possibilities on the part of the Omaha Police Department (in regard to possible evidence within McIntire's Toyota Camry), Cunningham alleges.

Inconsistencies of the statement the police gave also differ from the accounts of four witnesses who were at the scene of Lance's murder. Still another inconsistency claims that McIntire was administered CPR at the scene, but all four witnesses say that there was no medical help given after Lance was removed from the vehicle.

"Lance wasn't given any medical attention other than an ambulance that transported him to the hospital," Lone Dog said

When police removed McIntire from the car, the victim was handcuffed and witnesses nearby said the police had their knees digging into his back as he was being cuffed, Hermus Lone Dog told me in a recent telephone interview.

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Samuel Vargo worked as a full-time reporter and editor for more than 20 years at a number of daily newspapers and business journals. He was also an adjunct English professor at colleges and universities in Ohio, West Virginia, Mississippi (more...)

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