Law Enforcement | News | Washington DC

D.C. Cop Admits to Drawing Gun at Snowball Fight


A Washington D.C. police officer frightened participants at an impromptu snowball fight yesterday after unholstering his gun and threatening people, apparently in response to being hit with a snowball. A video posted to YouTube shows the cop arguing with a group of people and then admitting that he pulled his gun.

Says the detective: "Yes I did. Because I got hit with snowballs."



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  1. I hope they take that badge. If all it takes is a snowball to make him draw on somebody, he's dangerous. I remember a few years ago, a man i philly (not a cop) actually shot & killed a kid for hitting him with a snowball.

    Posted by: ealan | Dec 20, 2009 11:41:25 AM

  2. Sorry, but pelting someone with ice balls (and that is what snowballs feel like) is an assault. I have been assaulted like that on the streets and it is almost as violent as any other kind of assault. Getting hit in the face is extremely dangerous.

    What is even worse is that these were grown adults in a mass fight, snowball or otherwise, play or real, in the streets of the city.

    Sorry, but there's no excuse for such infantile behavior in a city space prone to violent acts.

    If you want to play go find a private backyard or a park! 14th Street is near 16th Street and Rock Creek Park.

    The cop was being assaulted without his doing ANYTHING to provoke it by ADULTS, and I don't give a damn if they were straight, gay, black or white.

    The snowballers were lucky not to get arrested for CLEARLY disorderly conduct in the middle of a city street.

    Posted by: veg | Dec 20, 2009 11:55:16 AM

  3. Those trustafarians needed a gun pulled on them.

    Posted by: tsuyoikuma | Dec 20, 2009 12:10:10 PM

  4. Jesus, I wonder what he would bring to a knife fight?

    Posted by: fhrblig | Dec 20, 2009 12:27:09 PM

  5. Chill out, VEG. This was a snowball fight that people posted about on twitter and facebook in one of the bar/club districts of DC. Everyone showed up knowing what was going to happen. Don't be such a grinch.

    Posted by: KFLO | Dec 20, 2009 12:33:49 PM

  6. This detective was not pelted with iceballs. He was safely ensconced in his own truck. He happened to be driving through an intersection where a friendly snowball fight was occurring. This guy must have a very short fuse. I'm sure it would be, at least, annoying to have your vehicle hit by a snowball or two in the space of the few seconds it takes to cross an intersection.

    Washington is not known for getting massive snowfalls. Many of the residents have moved from countries that see little or no snow, and something like this is truly exciting for them.

    Apparently, the location was an unfortunate choice. It sounds like a spontaneously planned community celebration that would have ended up, after a while, to be a pleasant memory for the participants had it not been for the overreaction of this detective.

    Maybe the President will invite them all over to the White House to make nice over a beer, no, make that hot chocolate!

    When it comes to snow, we could all take a lesson from dogs and kids. Relax, people.

    Posted by: Rob | Dec 20, 2009 12:46:36 PM

  7. This is precisely what's wrong with having lax gun laws. Far too often, when someone has easy access to one, a gun is pulled when a few WORDS might suffice. People feel powerful when they hold a gun and unfortunately that leads to pulling the trigger in many cases. This country is insane.

    Posted by: jeffrey | Dec 20, 2009 1:15:08 PM

  8. Seriously, Veg?

    First of all, as you can see in the clip all the snowballs are practically disintegrating in the air, not exactly deadly iceballs. Secondly, it's not like he got snowball sniped walking down a deserted street...there's clearly hundreds of people around, in a snowball fight. A peaceful one. AND he's not even on duty!

    Posted by: Nick | Dec 20, 2009 1:22:08 PM

  9. VEG you and the detective can clearly use some serious therapy.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Dec 20, 2009 1:27:58 PM

  10. Just to get it out of the way, what a bunch of self-entitled, immature little brats some of these kids were. The snow is coming down at almost an inch an hour, so they decide to go and have a massive snowball fight, on the city streets, and hit other moving vehicles. Yeah, really bright. Think, kids!

    Having said that, the detective was in the wrong. There was no need to pull a gun on these kids, it was a case of wrong place and wrong time. He needs to be reprimanded, big time. People were clearly frightened to the point other police had to be called in! I would love to know what he thought was going to happen when he gets out of the car and starts waving a gun at an intersection full of people!

    Lots of bad decisions all around.

    Posted by: DR | Dec 20, 2009 1:35:16 PM

  11. This officer did the right thing. He unholstered his weapon and kept it pointed in a safe direction (down). This is the exactly correct action to take when an officer is or sees a civilian being assaulted. I bet the snowball fight stopped in short order. Remember, this world is on the verge of explosion becauase of attitudes and politics. People MUST keep in mind ... this ain't the world it used to be!!

    Posted by: JIM | Dec 20, 2009 1:48:07 PM

  12. Good Lord, if the potential for possible tragedy wasn't so real, this would be comic: taking a gun to a snowball fight.

    Brandishing at gun at something like this is something you might not be surprised to hear about from a character under the influence of drugs, not a trained, professional law enforcement officer.

    Thank God, none of the participants also had a firearm and pulled it.

    This could have made for a tragic Christmas, and lives could have been changed forever.

    This could have been deadly serious, and the detective was incredibly irresponsible.

    I hope there is enough video, yet unreleased, that will help counter the cover-up and damage control that is, no doubt, being concocted.

    Posted by: Matt | Dec 20, 2009 1:52:45 PM

  13. Jim, if this is standard operating procedure and such a sound, common practice, why is it garnering national attention?

    To quote Charlie Brown, "Good Grief!" These people were having a harmless snowball fight on a Saturday afternoon when the city was virtually on shut-down due to snow. They weren't exactly disrupting traffic during a weekday rush hour.

    I am a strong supporter of law enforcement. But, it's this kind of overreaction that tarnishes the profession and makes the public lose respect for the good, responsible professionals in law enforcement. Wrong is wrong.

    Posted by: Mark | Dec 20, 2009 2:12:00 PM

  14. Pity the poor uniformed cop who had to respond and try to defuse the situation. Anyone not paying attention may this he's the perp.

    Posted by: Alex | Dec 20, 2009 2:20:18 PM

  15. This is so far the best argument I've ever seen in favor of gun control: a disturbing number of both cops and civilians think it's acceptable behavior to bring a gun to a snowball fight.

    Go institutionalize yourself if you think that's acceptable; you'll get the tightly controlled, authoritarian lifestyle you hunger for when you're in a padded cell.

    Posted by: 33mhz | Dec 20, 2009 3:01:08 PM

  16. What's next on his agenda, calling a SWAT team to help him deal with someone spiking the egg nog?

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Dec 20, 2009 3:02:08 PM

  17. If they had been brothers, no gun would have been pulled.

    Posted by: niles | Dec 20, 2009 3:14:32 PM

  18. I had a run in with a black DC cop and he was totally in the wrong but wanted to keep this white faggot in his place. This story is about a racist black cop.

    Posted by: taxpayer | Dec 20, 2009 3:22:35 PM

  19. It appears to me to be a group of young adults basically playing in the snow in a pretty decent (based on the buildings in the background) neighborhood. A vehicle is hit with one of the snowballs. All of the sudden a black man jumps out of a truck and displays a weapon. It turns out that the man is a detective -- apparently plain clothes.

    A commenter above defends this detective's response as "the exactly correct action to take."

    I doubt that. But, if it's the case, wouldn't it also be the exactly correct to simultaneously and immediately display your badge in the other hand and shout that you are a law enforcement officer so that a panic is not started?

    Does any of the video show the detective displaying a badge with his weapon or show him declaring himself to be law enforcement?

    Posted by: Wade | Dec 20, 2009 3:25:36 PM

  20. @ Joe


    "What's next on his agenda, calling a SWAT team to help him deal with someone spiking the egg nog?"

    It's snow!!!!

    Posted by: Rowan | Dec 20, 2009 3:33:31 PM

  21. @ Niles and Taxpayer

    Yes, a great racial injustice has been committed here.

    After all the suffering the white people have endured at the hands of those cruel Africans, it is only right that they should be allowed to have their snowball fights.

    You two are definitely not overreaching at all.

    What we have is an idiot with a gun. He should be disciplined for his reckless behavior. But I can assure you it is not some widespread conspiracy against your people and their love of snow.

    Posted by: John | Dec 20, 2009 3:56:19 PM

  22. @John: Did someone mention conspiracy? Great racial injustice? Your people and their love of snow? You, sir, are stupid.

    Posted by: taxpayer | Dec 20, 2009 4:02:11 PM

  23. Why does something like this so often take on a racial slant? Whether the detective was black, white, or orange, he grossly overreacted, and there could have been a tragedy.

    Posted by: Andy | Dec 20, 2009 4:12:06 PM

  24. I've lived in D.C. for 17 years. The D.C. police is mediocre at best. The new chief Lanier is not qualified and made some very poor decisions. This is not the first time that a D.C. officer (either in uniform or undercover) has pulled a gun or worse killed a youth who stole a bike or was killed by a another officer at a club. They are too quick to pull the gun.

    Posted by: Rafaelr | Dec 20, 2009 4:16:26 PM


    OK, so the cop is an artist. Big deal.

    Posted by: Jedi | Dec 20, 2009 4:35:08 PM

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