We previously reported on the Queensland police officer who was suspended and charged over his latest act of bullying and intimidating a member of the public whilst on duty.
In May 2015, Senior Constable Stephen Flanagan was patrolling the Landsborough Highway on the outskirts of Longreach when he observed a ute allegedly driving at a speed of 125kph in a 110kph zone.
The officer’s response to the incident is captured on footage taken from inside the police vehicle.
Flanagan does not turn on his lights or siren, instead repeatedly using his horn in an attempt to pull over the driver.
He yells a barrage of profanity, including “fucking pull over now, cunt” and “I’ll put a fucking hole in him”.
When the ute pulls over, Flanagan emerges from the police car and points a gun at the driver, Mr Lee Povey.
While doing this, Flanagan aggressively directs Povey to:
“Get out of your fucking car right now.”
He then yells:
“What the fuck are you pulling here today? You came past me – I’m bloody beeping the horn up the side to point you over and you still keep driving.”
“What’s your fucking story? Do you have a licence?”
“You didn’t see me? Right, where’s your licence dickhead?”
A woman who was in the passenger seat of the ute films the incident on her smartphone.
This isn’t the first time Flanagan has been captured on footage bullying a member of the public.
While on duty in 2013, the officer pulled over a motorist for allegedly speeding. On that occasion, he approached the driver screaming “you are driving like an absolute cunt”, before grabbing the driver’s keys and throwing them to the side of the road.
The driver remains calm and tries to explain himself, before Flanagan yells: “We’ll go to court and I’ll sit there and laugh my ass off while you get convicted.”
When the motorist complains of a sore shoulder, Flanagan threatened: “I’ll snap you in half in a minute, how does that sound?”
An internal investigation found that Flanagan failed to treat the driver with appropriate dignity and respect. However, he was not disciplined over the incident.
The proceedings against Flanagan over the most recent incident came before Brisbane Magistrate Paul Kluck, who found the officer guilty of both common assault and deprivation of liberty.
During the hearing, Flanagan’s lawyer submitted that his client had “feared for his life” because he thought the ute may have been stolen and the driver may have been armed.
The lawyer further submitted that his client was “very, very highly stressed”, was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at the time, was “hyper-vigilant” and was not “some rogue lunatic police officer simply pulling pistols out”.
However, the Magistrate was “… not impressed by the defendant’s evidence” on the witness stand, finding the testimony to be “implausible and inconsistent”. He added that “it should have been abundantly clear that Povey was not evading police”, and that there was no reasonable basis for the officer’s claims of being fearful, nor any excuse for the way in which he acted.
By contrast, the Magistrate remarked, “I find Povey to be an honest and reliable witness and I accept his evidence”.
Flanagan’s matter has been listed for sentencing on 9 January 2017.