CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained the video showing what happened to a flag for fallen police officers inside a local hospital, and we’ve learned what the hospital is doing now addressing the uproar.
The I-Team has been investigating why a flag was taken down from the wall of the emergency department at MetroHealth Medical Center. Hospital staff put up the flag after the death in January of Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey. He died in the line of duty. He’d been hit by a hit-and-run driver. However, officers recently became furious when they noticed the flag was gone.
Through a public records request, we obtained hospital security video showing the flag being taken down. And we received an internal memo. The memo says, in part, taking down the flag was “…a decision made by our Administration and supported by Executive leadership due to the fact that people felt the flag was disrespectful and is in violation of hospital policy.”
Officers wondered how was the flag disrespectful?
The fallout over what happened to the flag reached the highest levels of the hospital. In fact, the officer’s relatives say, days ago, MetroHealth's CEO and another top administrator met with the family at a home apologizing, explaining, and even handing over the flag.
Chris Porter, a brother of Officer Fahey said, "For them to come out and meet with us face to face, it meant a lot to us." Porter says, after that meeting, the family feels better. He added, "They told us the only reason the flag came down was they had a plan to put up a more permanent memorial."
In fact, the wall now holds lots of patches from safety forces. And that internal memo indicated a plan to renovate that wall.
MetroHealth issued a statement saying, “MetroHealth is committed to the care and healing of our patients and families. Our CEO's meeting with the family reflects that.”
Porter said, "It became more and more apparent that it was a series of unfortunate events."