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.
National Capital Area Policing
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.”