Video: Michigan officer verbally abused for nearly 20 minutes - WNEM TV 5

Video: Michigan officer verbally abused for nearly 20 minutes

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CBS -

A video widely shared online appears to show a Kalamazoo Public Safety officer being verbally abused for almost 20 minutes straight.

Chief Jeff Hadley brought the video to the attention of our CBS affiliates at WWMT, praising how professional the officer remained throughout the tirade.

However, he said it's just a small example of the hostile climate his officers face on the beat every day.

The expletives are all over the place in the video widely shared on Facebook. Kalamazoo officer Matt Slenk stands there quietly, saying almost nothing to the man filming and heckling him with homophobic slurs, among other profane language.

Chief Jeff Hadley said the barrage of insults crosses a line.

“It goes on for about 17 minutes, the total length of the video,” Hadley said.

Hadley said he's proud of Slenk keeping his composure. He said Slenk was on patrol Monday around Hayes Park Avenue, a troublesome spot KDPS keeps its eye on.

Other officers were patrolling around the home. Slenk said he was keeping an eye on the front yard area where the man recording kept trying to provoke a response.

“The unwillingness of the officer to engage the individual in any type of banter or to escalate the situation is a testament to officer,” Hadley said.

Hadley said the Hayes Park Avenue area, where the barrage of insults happened, is particularly sensitive. He pointed out it's the area where Officer Erica Zapata was shot and killed back in 2011.

“That's not lost on us, it's certainly not lost on Officer Slenk,” Hadley said.

Hadley also said the man recording makes a threat toward the end of the video. He doesn't necessarily think the threat is serious, but it's not being overlooked.

Hadley said it's a small example of the danger faced by officers every day.

“It's out there, we just had two officers shot and killed in Florida just the other day. It's a stark reality,” Hadley said. 

Copyright 2017 CBS News / WWMT. All rights reserved. 

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