News >> Browse Articles >> Crime News


D.C. Policeman Accused of Pulling Gun to Quell Snowball Fight

D.C. Policeman Accused of Pulling Gun to Quell Snowball Fight

Two D.C. police officers, on not in uniform, involved in the snowball fight controversy during a winter storm on Saturday. (Screen shot from home video of the incident.)

USA Today via YellowBrix

December 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – A Washington, D.C. plainclothes police officer accused of pulling a gun after his car was pelted during a Twitter-inspired snowball fight in downtown Washington has been placed on desk duty pending an investigation, The Washington Post reports.

Police initially denied any weapon had been displayed until video footage and witnesses indicated otherwise.

The video footage shows that the unidentified officer drew his gun and exchanged angry words with the boisterous crowd after his Hummer was hit by one or two snowballs, the Post said.

The City Paper reports said the police department, after initially denying a weapon was involved, issued a press release saying it had “subsequently received additional images and statements that would seem to support the allegation that the off-duty member did pull a gun” and was now investigating the matter.

The snowball fighters, mostly in their 20s and 30s, organized the “fight” at 14th and U street as a break from a huge snowstorm that had paralyzed the city this weekend.

Related: DC Chief Slams Officer Over Gun at Snowball Fight

The Post says 25-year-old Yousef Ali, a media and technology geek, spent 11 hours using Twitter and other social media to spread the word.

If the final investigation shows the officer pulled his weapon after being pelted with snowballs, D.C. Assistant Chief Pete Newsham, head of the investigative services bureau, said that “would not be a situation in which a member [of the force] would be justified,” The Post reports.

“We have to see what the entire circumstance was,” Newsham said Sunday. “But just a snowball fight, not in my mind. That doesn’t seem a situation where we would pull out a service weapon.”

Video Coverage of the Incident >>>

  • Ericm60_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This has a similar tone to another article i submitted recently.

    Large crowds could turn nasty in a moment and he could have been hurt. I hope his department doesn't throw him under the bus!

  • Badge_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I hate the news media bandwagon channels. I never watch the news and dont read the paper unless there is something I'm looking for in the classifieds ads.

  • Battering-ram-full_max50


    over 4 years ago


    The video I seen the Detective admits to pulling the gun cause he was "hit with snowballs"

  • 119_1923_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Bad deal all the way around. Wish he would have kept going.

  • Hand_max50


    over 4 years ago


    In the video I saw at 00:15 he clearly has a gun and persons in the crowd are clearly in fear of that gun, and he then goes on to threaten persons in the crowd before other officers arrive. As I understand it he is off duty. Why then is he allowed to continue to run the crowd after uniformed officers arrive to investigate the complaint. He should have been separated from the crowd and questioned while the uniforms calmed and questioned the crowd. He was allowed by the uniforms on site to continue to go into a crowd that was already agitated and cause more problems. If your are honest with yourself you will see this was mishandled.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    I have no comment.
    Meanwhile... I'll rate this crap down.

  • Jiu_jitsu_logo_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I dont really know what to say. He is a cop, allowed to carry a gun wherever, he didnt use it. Noone reported they were threatened by him, all they said was that he had a gun. I dont see whats wrong with that. The other cop had a gun too, and didnt look like he was trying to decided whether or not the plain clothes was a cop or not. They both went right to the people in the snowball fight.

  • Apd2_max50


    over 4 years ago


    From what I can see in the video I only see him holding his radio. Maybe the say him put his hand on his gun ready to draw it if need be but I never saw him pull it out. I saw his backup also ready to draw their weapons and it looked like that group was getting out of control. Like everyone else said let the investigation decide.

  • 100_0412_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Whats up with CNN..that is why i dont watch there news reporting..Uniform Officer acting the way he was suppose to until he knew what the situation was...

  • 1005092230_max50


    over 4 years ago


    They only thing I saw the detective holding in his hand was a radio. Unless his other hand was on his handgun under the jacket. From the angle the video was shooting, it's kind of hard to tell.

  • Sparkle_girl_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Gonna wait on this one.

  • Th_detective_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Typical media over-inflation of a police related incident. Let the real investigation determine exactly what went on, and why the off-duty officer deemed it necessary to pull out a hand gun to control the situation. I NEVER give much credence to media reporting of ANY police related situation. Their bias and anti-police spinning of facts is legendary, especially with the far-left-minded liberal media like CNN.

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I will withhold judgement until more comes out.

  • White_shirt_max50


    over 4 years ago


    We are held to a higher standard. If the officer can afford a Hummer I want to work there. Anger management my good man.

  • Cot_max50


    over 4 years ago


    should have just kept on driving. insurance will cover any damage to the vehicle, nothing will cover losing your career and quite possibly your freedom. just plain old stupid!

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

IowaNinersFan submitted the article: "GBI arrest second man in cabbie murder", 4 minutes ago.
zppomia posted: "an dv dahf vh adf hi adfvb", 5 minutes ago.
zppomia posted in: "an dv dahf vh adf hi adfvb", 5 minutes ago.
IowaNinersFan gave a thumbs down to The Article "Austrian SWAT team raids wrong apartment", 7 minutes ago.