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Neb. Cop Charged in Fatal Shooting

July 26, 2000

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ A white police officer will be charged with manslaughter for shooting an unarmed black man after a high-speed chase, authorities said.

Douglas County Attorney Jim Jansen said he would file the charge against Jared Kruse, 31, a seven-year veteran of the Omaha police force.

Kruse had been chasing George Bibins, 35, who was suspected of car theft, on July 19.

Seconds after Bibins crashed into a telephone pole, Kruse jumped out of his police car and shot Bibins while he was still inside the vehicle he was suspected of stealing, Police Chief Don Carey said. Bibins died of a single gunshot wound to the shoulder.

``We feel the county attorney did what he had to do under the circumstances,″ Carey said.

Following the shooting, Carey had said the department’s internal investigation could not find a justification for the shooting.

Kruse’s attorney, Mike Fabian, said he was surprised by the charge. ``We’ll address the facts in court,″ he said.

About 300 people gathered for a vigil Tuesday near the spot where Bibins was killed.

Speakers commended the prosecutor for his decision to file charges against Kruse, and an alliance of pastors called for a review of police-pursuit procedures. The clergymen and community leaders asked for increased oversight of the police department.

Update hourly