Grand Jury finds probable cause to charge two former Omaha officers

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- A Douglas County Grand Jury found probable cause to charge former Omaha police officers Ryan McClarty and Scotty Payne for the in-custody death of Zachary Bearheels.

The investigation ended November 28. The Grand Jury concluded that the cause of Bearheel's death was excited delirium, physical struggle and use of a conducted energy device.

The Grand Jury found there is probable cause former officer Ryan McClarty committed third degree assault. They also found probable cause former officer Scotty Payne committed second degree assault and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony.

The Grand Jury also said in a press release that they believe Sergeant Erik Forehead's actions and inactions were contributing factors to the outcome of the incident.

The Grand Jury proposed that all officers at the Omaha Police Department undergo annual and mandatory training regarding interactions with mentally ill persons and specifically those who are affected by excited delirium. The jury also proposed all officers under annual and mandatory training regarding crisis intervention.

Excited delirium was explained as psychomotor agitation, hallucinations, speech and thought disturbances, reduced response to painful stimuli, bizarre and combative behavior, and hypothermia.