This is another post by Joseph J. Julicher, from his website, “Hung by the Thin Blue Line.”
Now, I don’t have the exact date of this incident, because, well, my department sure as hell didn’t want to provide it. All I can say is that it happened, and it happened following summer after the Telly Heath incident.
Somehow I became involved in a call that ended up on our Town’s east side. We’d received a call from an off-duty New York State Trooper about a mobile domestic occurring on the I-290 East. I arrived at Eggert and Colvin, where the Trooper had stopped a suspect vehicle, a Jeep Wrangler. The Trooper informed me that while he was making his way to a court appearance in downtown Buffalo, he observed the passengers of the vehicle engaged in a domestic, with the male striking the female as she drove. The Trooper explained that the case he was going to testify on was very important, and that he couldn’t get tied up in an arrest situation. (Note: this occurrence was in the days before New York State took a very proactive approach in domestics, there were no mandates of arrest, so the Trooper did nothing wrong in the case. We simply did things the old fashioned way; investigated it)
Clearly the boyfriend was agitated, and the female scared, but we couldn’t get her to implicate him in any criminal behavior. I got the kid calmed down, assured him that his rights weren’t being violated, obtained the necessary information to file my report, and started back to my car to write it up. As if it were some B movie, a detective car arrives on scene, and Flanagan gets out of the passenger side. Now mind you THE SCENE IS COMPLETELY CALM, CONTAINED, AND VOID OF ACRIMONY.
I see Flanagan make a beeline for this kid, and I’m like “What the Fuck?”. Next thing I know Flanagan has this kid up against the back of the jeep, patting him down, spins him around, and screaming in his face. Apparently, the only thing that I can see that this kid is guilty of is being a young black man in the company of a fair skinned, young, cute, blonde girl. The next thing I know Flanagan has his hand around this kid’s throat, rag-dolling him, and the kid ends up on the ground.
“Oh hell no, not this shit again!”
I don’t even make an effort towards the scene, about 50 yards away, instead I reach directly for my radio and call my supervisor over “Patrol 55; respond to Colvin/Eggert, IMMEDIATELY”. Captain Bob Burr had been my captain for most of my ten years. He was a decent guy, not a ball of fire, a pretty straight shooter, and didn’t go out of his way to screw with his guys.
Burr gets out of his car, with the typical “What’s Up?”
I respond “Flanagan’s up to his bullshit again”.
I’m fucking irate, and Burr knows this. My tone and demeanor let him know that I’m totally and completely serious. This is noteworthy, since I was always professional, but hardly serious. Furthermore, the LAST thing anyone could ever expect me to do was blow somebody in! I told Burr, “We had this whole mess all calmed down and then this idiot (Flanagan) comes riding in like John fucking Wayne and starts tossing this kid around. Not again, not with me here! I ain’t going through this bullshit again.”
It is important to note, that the “again” needed not to be explained, since EVERYONE KNEW that I was referencing the gun-in-the-mouth incident; it was department lore.
“Calm down”, he says, “I’ll go see what’s going on.”
So the good Captain has to go about finding out how he can get out of having to do any actually supervisory work. He speaks to Flanagan, the kid, and the Trooper. When he finally gets back to me, I already know that I’m not gonna like what he has to say. I mean, I didn’t want Flanagan in a jackpot, but then again, I didn’t need him to continually act a fool around me and jeopardize my career. The deal brokered on the street is that the kid’s not going to face any charges violating an old police axiom; if you put your hands on somebody, you better be taking them to jail. In exchange, there’ll be no complaint filed against Flanagan. Unfortunately, the Trooper claimed that he hadn’t seen anything (later, he came to me and explained that he didn’t know what was going on, but he didn’t want to get in the middle of another department’s problems, replete with IA).
“Fuck him! Fuck that little bitch! You tell that little motherfucker to stay away from my calls; order him!”
All Burr tried to do was calm me down and smooth things over, pretty much SOP. I told Burr that I had done all I could do, did what I was supposed to do, and he (Flanagan) wasn’t patrol’s problem, but so help me god, if he ever fucked with another scene that I was a part of with his bullshit, I promised that Flanagan was going away in cuffs himself! Apparently that little coward had a long memory and an intense need for vengeance!
*Hopefully Joseph will get back to me and continue the story here at CopBlock.org*