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'Cops' Shootout Suspect

Family Compares Omaha to Ferguson

Police Were Showing Off

8/28/2014 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Omaha police
 officers were running and gunning to make compelling TV when they sprayed bullets at an armed robbery suspect, killing him and a 'Cops' crewman ... so claims the dead suspect's family.

TMZ spoke with one of Cortez Washington's relatives ... who believes the officers used excessive force Tuesday night -- and were "hyped up" to put on a good show when they responded to the Wendy's.

As we reported ... 'Cops' sound supervisor Bryce Dion died after getting hit by friendly fire from Omaha PD during the shootout with Washington -- who was holding a Wendy's employee at gun point.

Washington's firearm turned out to be a pellet gun -- modeled after a real semi-automatic pistol -- and his family thinks officers should have recognized it wasn't a lethal weapon before they unloaded more than 20 rounds. One family member told us, "With everything going on in Ferguson, you think they would use other options." 

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The relative also said they don't buy Omaha PD's claim Cortez started the shootout by firing two rounds.

Omaha cops say they were not grandstanding for cameras ... maintaining they responded to the robbery with proper protocol ... and engaged Cortez because he pointed and fired his weapon at them.

381 COMMENTS

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1.

Jordan    

You do not have to be a genius to figure out, if the Robbery Suspect was carrying a Fake toy gun, then the Camera Man, had to have been shot by a Cop Carrying a real Gun, or a 9 year old Girl with an UZI, you just never know.

56 days ago
2.

Christina G.    

I understand the family's heartache, and there may be some truth about the cop showing off for the cameras, but they fail to mention the elephant in the room. Their precious angel was robbing a restaurant at gunpoint. Maybe if they held their son accountable for his actions when he was alive, he wouldn't be dead now.

56 days ago
3.

BLUE UGLY 💩    

COPS is still on the air? wtf?

56 days ago
4.

Bridget    

Nope sorry. I feel sorry for the guy from "Cops" and think the officers f'ed up in regards to him. They shouldn't have returned fire with a CIVILIAN IN THE WAY. But if there was no civilian in the way, I wouldn't have an issue with them shooting the robbers butt. Tell the rest of your stupid family not to rob places, even if the gun is fake. Deeeerrrrrrrr

And I say stupid because it is blatantly clear from your statement, and the actions of your family member, that being a dip**** is in the DNA.

56 days ago
5.

BRI    

Seriously?!? Should have been able to recognize it was a pellet gun?? Yea right...

56 days ago
6.

watzitooya    

Yikes!

56 days ago
7.

Casey    

Are parents going to start making excuses every time their thug child gets shot by police officer trying to save his own life. those guns are very realistic and since it was in their son's hand and he was pointing it at them I'm sure they weren't concerned about what caliber of what type of gun it was!

56 days ago
8.

40cal    

You cant blame the cops for thinking this was a real gun, as a licensed gun owner if someone pulled this on me I would think it was real and protect myself, that being said the police let a lot of lead fly in cir***stances like this, problem with that is people that aren't intended to be hit are by so called friendly fire, police are trained shooters they shouldn't be unloading on people and there will be a lot less innocent casualties..

56 days ago
9.

Unbroken Chain    

That looks too much like a real gun, especially at night. I really hope this isn't going to be another misguided situation

56 days ago
10.

Shannonrm    

This is why airplanes don't allow even toy guns - if you have something in your pocket that LOOKS like the shape if a gun then you have to assume it IS one.
The kid was robbing a Wendy's! Don't use Fergusen like some kind of back of the bus or lunch counter - it is NOT ground zero for the fight for equality. These guys are not MLK.
We have to stop being beholden to the black community anytime they have an issue with cops responding to the crimes their heroes are committing. Michael Brown should not have been shot but the cop has to make a judgment call.
I have to make those calls all the time: do I avoid certain areas after dark? Do I use parking garages? Do I assume that walking last 5 men hanging out in front of an alleyway at night on my way home is not safe? Yes. It is profiling? YES. It's called assessing a situation, recognizing the potential for harm and reacting.
The cameraman knew he was potentially in danger and I'm shocked this hasn't happened before. Still, it sucks a lot. His poor family!

56 days ago
11.

Shannonrm    

Maybe the cameraman' family should sue the dead kid's family for causing the whole business in the first place? He IS responsible.
Insinuating the black community will riot because of inequality when shooting armed robbers (toys or no, it all looks the same to the cop) is nothing more than a threat and THEY are the ones trying to tie this to Fergusen.
What do you expect for a family that raises criminals?

56 days ago
12.

Vicky    

Surely these idiots can't be serious. Your son robbed a place with a gun, held up an employee, and shot at cops with a gun that looked very real. Don't hold ur breath on anyone protesting for ya.

56 days ago
13.

bigboyindiego    

Here's a thought , instead of looking for excuses , start wondering how you FAILED at raising your kids !!! HE is the one that decided to ROB a store ... HE is the one that brought in a GUN .. HE is the one who decided to do the ILLEGAL activity now HE left this world because of the choices he made..........instead of always making excuses place blame where it belongs

56 days ago
14.

Az Heat    

So apparently the workers and the guy laying on the ground inside the store also thought it was a real gun and they were a lot closer to the subject and in the light so can you blame the cops! You don't bring a knife to a gun battle because you will lose every time. The cameramans family should be allowed to sue the subjects family because he created this whole ordeal and trained officers had to respond. Just him robbing the place shows his stupid mentality so I believe he did point his toy gun at the officers so he could try to get away. How many people are going to wait to find out if a gun is real in a situation like this especially when this toy gun looks very realistic!

56 days ago
15.

Az Heat    

Why can't families like this just own up to it that they didn't raise their kid properly and say "sorry since our kid was a dumb a$$ he and an innocent bystander got killed because of his stupid actions"!

56 days ago
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