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Officer reprimanded after video goes viral

Updated: Friday, May 2 2014, 10:12 AM EDT

WTOV9.com
BELLAIRE, Ohio -- Officials in Bellaire have investigated and taken action after video of a village police officer went viral.
Officials have acknowledged Lt. Dick Flanagan was the officer in the video shot several weeks ago as he responded to a call, and said Flanagan has been reprimanded.
"I couldn't believe what I was seeing, so I grab my phone,” said the Bellaire resident who shot the video. “I guess what went through my mind is no one is going to believe this. I couldn't believe it. (It was the) most unprofessional thing I've ever seen out of a cop."
Typically the Bellaire Police Department doesn't comment on rumors or accusations made on social media, but this, Police Chief Mike Kovalyk acknowledged, was different.
After confirming it was Flanagan on the video, he decided a verbal reprimand was necessary.
"It'll be a reprimand of that should an incident like this occur again, there will be more of a severe disciplinary action taken against him," Kovalyk said.
Added the Bellaire resident behind the camera: "I’d just like to see some change. I don't want to see anybody lose their job. But if he can't control his anger maybe he needs to move on.”
Kovalyk said the incident did lead to arrests that night. He added that Flanagan had responded for an altercation but wouldn't go into further detail, saying that investigation isn't over.
"I can understand their feelings at language that was used,” Kovalyk said. “Of course the whole thing wasn't shown on the video"
Kovalyk said he believes frustration is to blame, but it's no excuse.
"With the conditions which we work under, the manpower issues, the funding issues that we are dealing with and have dealt with for the last nine years, it affects the morale,” Kovalyk said. “So when it affects the morale, it can affect the attitude of an officer towards the job."
Several calls from News9 to Flanagan haven't been returned.
Since the video was posted, the person who recorded it said he's been receiving threats. So far, he hasn't filed any complaints.
Kovalyk also stressed that there were no reports filed over the incident the night that video was shot.

Officer reprimanded after video goes viral


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