Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Black cop stood down for pulling gun at snowball fight

Apparently he felt "disrespected"

A POLICE officer accused of pulling a gun during a mass snowball fight on the streets of Washington DC has been removed from normal duty pending an investigation.

Footage from several video cameras at the scene of the weekend snowball fight in downtown Washington appear to show the police officer pulling a gun from his holster and brandishing it in the air. After denying a weapon was involved in the incident, Washington police later issued a statement saying that images and statements did appear to support claims the police officer drew a gun after he and his car were hit by snowballs.

The mass snowball fight involving groups of mainly young men in their twenties was allegedly organised by Twitter messages received around the city. Dozens converged on the corner of 14th and U Street in Washington to join in the snowball fight as a relief after being snowbound by the record snowfall that had shut down most of the city, including the Metro rail system and Ronald Reagan Airport.

After the unnamed police officer is seen pulling the gun, one of the videos carries commentary from a young man who says: “Do not shoot anyone over snowballs, please. I'm telling you, that is not a fun plan.” The crowd starts chanting, “Don't bring a gun to a snowball fight.”

Another police officer at the scene appears to challenge one of the snowball fighters, saying “throw another snowball”. One man tells a police officer they do not feel safe. The officer replies: “You go back to your snowball fight, all right?”

The Washington Post quoted DC Assistant chief Pete Newsham saying that a police officer would not be justified in drawing his pistol if an investigation found that he did so after being pelted with snowballs. “We have to see what the entire circumstance was, but just a snowball fight, not in my mind,” he said. “That doesn't seem a situation where we would pull out a service weapon.”

Original report here

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