MPD Chief Cathy Lanier yesterday issued a statement regarding the around-the-world famous snowball fight at 14th and U Streets NW on Saturday. The fame occurred after the snowballers pelted a passing Hummer that was driven by an off-duty DC police detective–who angrily got out of his car to confront the crowd with his gun drawn; a uniformed officer than arrived with his gun drawn.
In her statement, Lanier called the detective’s behavior “totally inappropriate” and said that he has been placed on “non-contact status until all the facts are gathered and discipline is handed down.”
As Chief of Police, I wanted to respond to the many messages received to our police listserv groups last night in reference to the off-duty police officer’s actions on last Saturday. I have reviewed the video clips and heard from the public. It is very obvious to me that the officer pulled his service weapon in response to the snowballs hitting his vehicle. I have no doubt about this, nor has the officer denied the accusations.
Let me be very clear in stating that I believe the actions of the officer were totally inappropriate! In no way, should he have handled the situation in this manner. We have taken swift action by placing him on non-contact status until all the facts are gathered and discipline is handed down.
Here is the MPD’s news release on the now [truly] famous incident on Saturday involving a snowball fight at 14th and U Streets, an off-duty detective and a uniformed officer.
Contact: Officer Kenny Bryson (202) 727-4383
December 20, 2009
INCIDENT INVOLVING SNOWBALL THROWING CROWD IN THE 1400 BLOCK OF U STREET, NW
(Washington, DC)- The Metropolitan Police Department is looking into the circumstances involving the report of officers “pulling their guns” on a crowd that had been throwing snowballs in the area of 14th and U Streets, NW. (more…)
On the corner of 14th and U, each time the light turned red the residents of the West side of 14th Street would attack residents of the East side. In this video, you can hear the crowd roar as the snowplow interrupts the fun momentarily.
It wasn’t organized. It was just a bunch of people who happened to be walking by throwing snow at each other. When the light turned red everyone attacked each other. It was a blast. We left before the vigilante cop showed up. Crazy!