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Buffalo Police officer with attention-drawing videos suspended for second time

The Buffalo Police officer who first drew wide attention in February 2016 after he was suspended from the force for making outrageous and sometimes crude social media videos — known as “Angry Cops” — and posting them online has again been suspended for similar activity, a Buffalo Police Department spokesman said Thursday night.

Officer Richard Hy was suspended by Commissioner Daniel Derenda Thursday for a month, without pay, said police department spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge.

DeGeorge did not provide a reason for the new suspension.

At the time he was suspended in 2016, Hy had put up more than 100 of his own videos on the former video-sharing site, Vine.

Many of the videos featured topics that police leaders deemed as objectionable, such as Hy pretending to snort cocaine, then screeching and laughing;  recording a fake police shooting in which Hy tells the victim to be quiet since he was only grazed, as well as one featuring Hy, who is white, dancing around with a black officer to promote racial harmony.

Prior to his first suspension, Hy stopped wearing his department uniform in his videos after he was ordered to by Internal Affairs in 2015.

Hy then started wearing a costume uniform and a prop badge.

Hy, 29, twice served with the Army in Iraq and was awarded the Combat Action Badge. He was known to be something of a jokester long before he joined the city's police force in 2012.

Back in March 2016, police officials handed Hy an additional 41 departmental charges for posting videos that his friends and online fans found amusing but that supervisors said violated the department’s social media policy.

Hy had already faced 10 charges for which he was suspended for 30 days without pay as Internal Affairs investigators continued to review his online content posted on various social media sites under the “Angry Cops” username.

A number of the additional reprimands were the result of Hy's failure to follow a directive given to him when he was previously brought up on violations for his videos.

In addition to the video-related charges, Hy also was accused of violating the department’s media policy by talking to a New York Daily News reporter after his suspension became a news story outside of the region.

During that time, Hy received support in the form of online statements and videos, some of which questioned whether Hy’s right to free speech had been infringed upon.

About 150 police officers and others from the area showed their support for Hy by raising $2,285 to help him cover his expenses while he was on unpaid suspension.

An online GoFundMe page raised more than $1,700 for Hy, but he has refused to accept money from those contributions and has instead asked that they be donated to the Fallen Officer Foundation.

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