“It’s not me. It’s not me,” these were the words of Timothy Hardy in a video recorded by Hardy’s son, his children cry out, watching from the window as Omaha police approached and handcuff their father.
“I was scared. Scared for my family. I didn’t want them to witness me getting gunned down,” said Hardy. He said he heard gunshots in his Benson neighborhood Thursday night. He walked his neighbor’s daughter home to make sure she was safe and returned to his front lawn.
Lt. Sherie Thomas said police then made “contact” with Hardy. “Handcuffed me like I was a fugitive like I was the suspect,” he said.
In a statement, Omaha police said they were in the area near 48th Street and Northwest Radial Highway “looking for an armed suspect that ran from a traffic stop. The suspect was described as a Black Male, dreadlocks, gray tank top, dark shorts, armed with a handgun.”
A commanding officer observed Hardy, and “asked for a repeat of the description and then asked if the suspect was heavyset, and was told ‘yes’ over the radio. The commanding officer then indicated that he had a party fitting that description but wearing white shorts. “I fit the description. Black guy with dreads” said Hardy. “Basically racial profiling.”Police said “the commanding officer approached and held him at gunpoint until Uniform Patrol officers and other gang officers arrived to assist. While being taken into custody advised he had a gun on him.
Shortly after was handcuffed, it was learned that he was not involved and not the suspect officers were looking for. It was determined was a valid CCW holder, officers took the handcuff off of and he was released.
“I fit the description. Black guy with dreads” said Hardy. “Basically racial profiling.”
During all this, Hardy’s fiancee, Alicia Gunter, said their 4-month-old baby was sitting in their car and that police wouldn’t let her get her.
“It broke me. When they finally let me get her, the first person I called was my dad. I couldn’t even talk. I couldn’t talk. I was hysterical,” she said.
“My youngest son, after it all happened, Timothy was coming outside. And he said, ‘Dad, are the police going to shoot you?” said Gunter.
Hardy said officers walked away and that he hasn’t heard anything from Omaha Police Department since.
“It could happen to any one of us. Any one Black guy with dreads. It could have been anybody,” he said.
Hardy and his fiancee just wish officers had approached calmly with no weapons drawn.