WARREN, Ohio – More than two weeks after a violent arrest was caught on tape and just days after another videotape showed the police chief taunting an amateur cameraman trying to record an altercation, more controversial footage was made public.
Many people who live in Warren told Action News' Paul Orlousky that the tapes prove the city's police department is not playing fair.
The latest footage shows patrons of a bar making a lot noise outside of the establishment and some even walking on the street with open beer bottles. It then shows two groups of men becoming agitated in a scene that explodes into a bottle-throwing attack. Through it all, not a single police officer was seen or called.
That incident took place in front of O'Donnell's, a bar on Warren's 422 strip. O'Donnell's is just down the road from 77 Soul -- the club where the videotape featuring disgruntled Chief John Mandopoulos showed an aggressive police presence.
The difference between the two, according to police critics, is that O'Donnell's caters to a white crowd, many of them off-duty officers and firemen. 77 Soul, on the other hand, caters to a black crowd.
The critics want to know why Warren officers spend so much time at the black club, mugging for the camera, talking to entering patrons and even identifying some as "snitches" -- putting them in danger.
77 Soul club owner LaShawn Ziegler said that the Mandopoulos tape makes his long-standing point.
"I think he's taunting," Ziegler said. "He's being sarcastic about a lot of things."
Warren's safety director, Fred Harris, said that the tapes show a troubling pattern that prejudges black citizens. He specifically pointed out one part of the tape where an officer tells a black patron to get out of his car because "we know you got the dope."
Harris and Mayor Hank Angelo now hold the chief's job in their hands. They spent a good portion of Wednesday deliberating whether the chief should be fired. For now, they'll sleep on it.