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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 >>>

  • Swat_team_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I believe the officer was met by superior numbers and needed a little equalizer. I think the “snowballers” acted stupidly. Don’t forget it’s DC, where our troops would be in more danger than in Iraq.

  • Tigerstripe_002_max50


    over 4 years ago


    1st, how about the DC Chief slam the boisterious crowd for being unruely and pelting peoples vehicles and then pelting the people when they get out of their vehicles? Why couldn't the crowd of grown men just stop throwing snowballs as the car drove by. Or apologize to the angry driver when he exited his vehicle then ignored him until he decided to leave.

    Hey hey everyone in D.C., feel free to pelt any officer you see. Because they arant allowed to draw on you if you do. It'll be a very good idea to do this........

    Ok, sarcasum aside, how about you just stop and turn your vehicle around if you notice a massive snowball war ahead of you and dont want your precious H2 pelted. Ok, maybe traffic does not allow this. So pull over once you pass the mess and check for damage, then you can angrily return if damage is actually confirmed. Ok, you are a poilce officer in plain cloths, how about pulling out your bright shiny badge instead of your nickle plated desert eagle? Ok, snowballed anyways and decide you want to make an arrest. Ok this isn't TV-land, you dont need to charge pointing your gun at everyone.

  • Images_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Unfortunately this could have turned out to be a "friendly" fire incident. Too many off duty officers are shot and killed during situations like this. Let's not forget this is D.C., they could have been giant crack rocks.

  • 100_0197_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Bla, Bla, Bla, people. Let the investigation take its toll. Merry Christmas to all. Oh, almost forgot, NO SNOWBALL FIGHTING ITS A FELONY!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    He needs to apologize for poor judgment. His agency needs to counsel him and give him a one day suspension. Everyone else needs to shut up.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    All kidding aside ... How do we know that the projectiles were snowballs and not ice balls or rocks covered in snow?...

  • Getattachment_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Hey! Hey!, for all we know those may have been "Snowballs of Mass Destruction".

  • Argoavatar_max50


    over 4 years ago


    What I see here, is a Detective driving by getting pelted by snowballs, not knowing what's going on, and then getting out of his vehicle in fear for his safety (think about 200+ frozen projectiles being thrown at you because you're a cop), and attempted to disperse the crowd because of the safety to traffic.

    Does that seem to be a wrong doing?

  • Cimg1207_max50


    over 4 years ago


    dont know about pullin a gun out over snowballs, but id definitely lock that guy up with the ski mask for disorderly conduct or inciting a riot

  • Lady_jessie_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Ok, folks. I am here. And I am taking out the trash.

    (Just watch the posts get slim. Corrosive, vindictive, anti-LEO or just plain antagonistic posts will be flushed.....)

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    over 4 years ago


    Excellent post djfludd. The snowball fight was a clear case of a sitution gone out of control. The participants most likely packed rocks inside their snowballs and intentionally fired them off at his hummer. Juvenile deliquents who engage in this type of behavior pose a health and safety risk to pedestrians. Their behavior also is masked in their intrinsic desire to defy social order. The officer's efforts to engage in riot control is clearly underestimated.

  • 9fa32861e67c__1255527926000_2__max50


    over 4 years ago


    You read on here that the officer made a bad judgement call by pulling his weapon and he should be fired or some other crap. What I have read is yes he made a bad call and it shows that he is human. And fireing him for over it is stupid I think he should be given some cousling on it and even suspending him for a week. And go from there and then if he dosent change then look at the termination part but to get rid of a OFFICER for making a bad call. But this is what I think.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    All these individual rendering judgement here.... Were there at the time of this incident.... Right...?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    You got that right man... I can't agree more... Take a look at am_sf_94 (whatever)...

  • Rcmp_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Looks like a fun snowball fight until things went sideways. = S I believe it was a good idea to identify himself as an officer, but pulling his firearm was not necessary. But hey... it definitely stopped the snowballs quickly

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