Snowball Fight Gun Video: DC Police Chief Slams Veteran Cop Who Gives Up Gun and Badge

WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) A Washington, D.C. police officer seen on video pulling a gun during a snowball fight is in pretty deep you-know-what with his boss.

Metropolitian D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier slammed a veteran detective Monday for his actions during the massive snowball fight Saturday that had been advertised on Twitter.

Chief Cathy Lanier said she watched video clips on YouTube from the confrontation and has no doubt the off-duty detective pulled his gun after snowballs hit his private car after a record snowfall.


"Let me be very clear in stating that I believe the actions of the officer were totally inappropriate!," Lanier said in a statement after the videos made the rounds on YouTube. "In no way should he have handled the situation in this manner."

Lanier said the detective, whom she did not identify, did not deny the accusations. He is on desk duty until an investigation is complete.

Hundreds of people gathered for the snowball fight after organizers used social networks such as Twitter to advertise it.

One video posted on YouTube showed a man holding what appears to be a gun in the snowy street. Another video shows the same man telling people he is "Detective Baylor" and he pulled his gun because he was hit by snowballs.

At one point, the crowd begins to chant: "Don't bring a gun to a snowball fight!"

Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters Monday that the detective's badge and weapon have been withdrawn. He said the detective has more than 25 years of experience and a good reputation.

Newsham said the internal affairs division wants to complete its investigation as quickly as possible.

"We have to put the whole incident into context," he said.

There could be a recommendation to discipline the detective, which could range from a reprimand to removal, he said.

Police have at least two videos of the incident, and Newsham said there could be more as the footage shows other people with cell phones and cameras. Police are working to obtain any additional material and will continue to speak to witnesses. He asked people to contact police if they have more footage.

There were no arrests, he said.

The videos also show a uniformed police officer holding his gun by his side before holstering it. Police said in a statement Sunday that he was responding to a call about an armed man, acted appropriately and did not point his weapon at anyone.

Newsham praised the work of other officers who arrived at the scene and de-escalated the situation.

He called the incident "very disappointing."

"It does bring a negative light" on the department, he said, and detracts from the work of hundreds of officers who helped people in the snow and directed traffic.


December 21, 2009 - Snowball Fight Gun Video: D.C. Cop Draws Gun at Snowball Fight