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Protestors angry over officer’s ‘slap on wrist’

Updated: Friday, May 9 2014, 05:35 PM EDT


A few dozen protesters gathered Friday, across from the Village of Bellaire Police Department, reacting to a video caught on camera by a resident.

The video shows Lt. Dick Flanagan yelling profanities while responding to a call. Flanagan was verbally reprimanded, but demonstrators said it isn’t enough.

George Jackson of Bellaire said he believes Flanagan should take anger management.

“A guy like that shouldn't be carrying a gun,” said Jackson. "He got a slap on the wrist."

Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk responded last week after a City Council meeting. He said there was no excuse for the foul language, but also said the entire situation wasn't played out on tape.

"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,” said Kovalyk. “When it affects the morale it can affect the attitude of an officer towards the job."

Kovalyk added the incident did lead to arrests that night.

On Friday, Flanagan issued a statement concerning the incident.

“It's unfortunate that the incident happened, but I said it. Could I have handled it better? Yes, but people don't know the circumstances,” Flanagan said. “It was said; I was reprimanded, and I'm sorry that it happened. I will continue to do my job and serve the citizens of Bellaire."

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.

Protestors angry over officer’s ‘slap on wrist’

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