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Old December 20, 2009, 12:03 AM   #1
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Bringing a gun to a snowball fight...

This is an interesting video that I thought I might share. A plainclothes officer's car is hit by a snowball. Obviously upset, the officer gets out of his car, taunts the crowd and shows them his pistol.

How this relates to tactics and training is that its a clear demonstration of what not to do with your firearm.

There is an annoyance that agitates you such as a snowball getting thrown wrongly in your direction. The wrong thing to do is to confront the people who threw the snowball with a firearm. Although the officer did not unholster the weapon, still showing it and taunting the crowd is still not the correct action to take.
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Old December 20, 2009, 01:53 AM   #2
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No wonder. Any self respecting police officer should have know better than to get involved in a snow fight. He should have immediately called for an air strike and let the F-16's roll in first to drop a coupe of bombs followed by the A-10 Warthogs to finish the job off with their mini guns. One can only imagine the irreplaceable damage and horrific loss of life had this snow ball fight gone on with out police intervention.
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Old December 20, 2009, 05:59 AM   #3
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Speaking from 38 yrs of LE experience, and fully reading the article and write up, I stand with the officer.

1. It was a group of 200 protesters. That in it's self will often turn violent.
2. Objects were being thrown by protesters. It is common to have people put rocks or other objects in snowballs, ballons and such before being thrown at police.
3. He was out numbered 200-1 and a show of authority was proper.
4. He never pulled his gun but another officer responding to a call of a man with a gun did. That gun was holstered when identification was made of the person carrying the gun.
5. The departmental investigation cleared the officer.

If someone will google Cedar Grove Riots Shreveport, you will see an entire neighborhood was burned to the ground and stores looted before being burned by protesters objecting to a girl shooting a bystander in a drug deal that went bad. Police were pelted by objects thrown, a firetruck and police car were totalled. An entire night of rioting followed because the police let it get out of hand to begin with and the mood of the crowd was already anti police.

We have people on this forum that would show their weapon for less than a snowball being thrown from a crowd of people. And I would not disagree with them doing so. Snowballs, beer bottles or bricks, none are fun when being thrown at people not playing the game and opposite opinions on a subject.
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Old December 20, 2009, 06:07 AM   #4
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It seemed to me this plainclothes detective's expensive personal vehicle (a humvee) was hit by a misguided snowball. The detective then had a tantrum, took it personally and decided to taunt the crowd with his firearm.

The detective did not call for backup and he was not assigned to address the crowd. He was just passing by. Why would he try to address the crowd directly without backup? His vehicle was hit by a snowball and the people in the snowball fight were just some students. From all appearances, it looked like nothing more then some fraternity prank.

The uniformed officer on the scene was called out by someone in the crowd. Someone was paniced by the detective's behavior. The detective never called in the incident.

I dont believe this is standard procedure to confront a crowd in an angry manner with no uniformed backup to assist.
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Old December 20, 2009, 07:40 AM   #5
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It seemed to me this plainclothes detective's expensive personal vehicle (a humvee) was hit by a misguided snowball. The detective then had a tantrum, took it personally and decided to taunt the crowd with his firearm.
Where did it say that was his vehicle or that he took it personally?

In law enforcement, be it court or what ever else, we work on known facts and not supposition.

The article stated that it was unknown if the Hummer belonged to the officer or department.

I am not trying to be argumentative here but just pointing out that the statement was not factual.
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Old December 20, 2009, 09:02 AM   #6
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+1 Oldman

This incident only happened after professional agitators took a neighborhood snowball fight, and turned it into something ugly. I doubt any of the origonal neighborhood folks were even involved. It'd be interesting to see exactly who the detective was arguing with. Judging by my past training, and news reports reguarding these professional protester types... I dont doubt the detective felt threatened. I also wonder if objects other than snow balls was thrown. I cant see a veteran police officer being upset enough to stop and challange anyone over a snow-ball. Keeping in mind the detective didnt become involved until the snow-ball fight became a professional protest directed at the general public. The detective may have acted out of concern for the safety of other drivers.

I know that most of my statement is speculation based on limited information. I do however bring some training, and experience to the debate. As far as the detective displaying his holstered firearm? I have to agree that he was responding to an escallation of force. The uniformed officer with the drawn weapon? Responding to a report of a man with a gun, secured it after he determined there was no threat.

So who won the snow-ball fight? The protesters won. They succeeded in giving the D/C Metro police dept. some negative press. They were successful in turning an innocent fun time to their own means.

There is some talk that if a civilian displayed his holstered firearm in an attempt to controll a situation from becoming more violent, he would have been arrested. Thats probably true. And it would be equally wrong. Nope It would have been even more wrong. A civilian would have paid a higher price of losing his freedom, and his firearm.

If the police can display a firearm as an attempt to prevent an escalation of violence, I truely believe that a legally armed citizen should enjoy the same logic. My training is from the state of NY. In NY the crime is menacing. I have heard it described in other states as brandishing, or something else. If a person is legally armed, and displaying his firearm prevents further violence. Whats the difference if he's a cop or a civilian. The objective is to prevent violence, no?
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Old December 20, 2009, 09:21 AM   #7
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The film and the story do not match exactly. We do not know what really happened before the filming began. I do have to wonder what was edited out of the film. (Maybe my computer video feed is just old and sloppy, but the clip was choppy in places.)

I get the feeling the plainclothes cop was agitated about having his vehicle (the one he was driving) hit by a snowball. If that is the only reason he stopped, he was wrong. On the film clip, it appeared that he brushed his jacket aside by accident, showing the pistol. However, someone must have seen the pistol before, because 911 was called.

The second officer, who they did show with his weapon drawn, I do believe acted with-in the confines of common sense and the law. (Unknown man with a gun, large crowd. Put the gun away when he realized the situation.)

I am usually one of the first ones to come to the defense of police officers when they are maligned in the media, but in this case, it is really hard to figure out what happened.
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Old December 20, 2009, 09:33 AM   #8
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The detective may have over reacted.

The uniform cop performed absolutely great.
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Old December 20, 2009, 10:14 AM   #9
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Complete idiot.
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Old December 20, 2009, 10:42 AM   #10
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If he felt so threatened why didn't he get inside his HUMMER, lock the doors and call for BACKUP! He was P#$$#D and let his temper take control, NOT a cop I want in my town. He is a lawsuit or accidental shooting looking for a place to happen. If he was so threatened why did he get out of the Hummer to begin with? Macho man with a anger problem, giving law enforcement a black eye.
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Old December 20, 2009, 11:01 AM   #11
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First, concluding something on the basis of a news report is usually not wise.

Regarding the report: 200 people dressed in "anarchist garb" attend a staged anti-war protest described as "what started off as a fun snowball fight"; the melee got out of hand, and citizens were blocked in traffic; police arrived, and "things really became serious when officers drew their guns." Give me a break.

Some character appears on screen claiming the detective had drawn his gun. Sorry, but given why he was there, I tend to discount his veracity. OK for them to cause trouble, but don't come and try to stop them.

One should not judge police officers' actions in the same light as his own. The civilian is obligated to avoid trouble and in most jurisdictions may not exhibit his firearm unless it is necessary to do so in self defense. The officers are sworn to uphold the law and are under no such restriction. Our guns are to protect ourselves; officers' guns have other uses.

Police officers act under written procedures designed to protect the rights of the citizens, protect department from liability, and enforce the law effectively. Those procedures are developed carefully on the basis of tactics and the law. In this instance they were reportedly complied with.

Yeah, the protesters won. Too bad. I've been around long enough to have seen anti-war protesters cause injury, death and destruction and promote defeat in war. Maybe if the police had been less effective, the protesters would have ended up doing something for which they would have been charged. They should be thankful.
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Old December 20, 2009, 11:04 AM   #12
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Here's some additional footage -
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Old December 20, 2009, 11:04 AM   #13
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He was P#$$#D and let his temper take control,
I guess I missed that. From what do you come to that conclusion????
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Old December 20, 2009, 11:13 AM   #14
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This footage shows the detective holding and talking on his police radio while holding his weapon in a non-threatening manner.

If anyone here who has been trained in WDC police procedure and who knows the local laws can explain why that is not appropriate, that would be appreciated.

The protesters blocking traffic and taunting police officers; is that, or is that not, a crime?
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Old December 20, 2009, 11:20 AM   #15
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You folks are not looking at the bright side of this.

Community relations are at stake; this incident could even have national/international repercussions. After all, many of our allies have crowds, cops and snow.

Clearly, what's needed is a community organizer- and not just any community organizer will do.

We just happen to have one elected to high office. POTUS must take action to end this crisis.

He will broker a peace, and a Snowcone Summit is the vehicle by which to accomplish that,

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Old December 20, 2009, 11:38 AM   #16
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That must be the bad part of being LE...looking like an idiot in front of the world with a bunch of kids were clearly about to maim him I'm sure some cop somewhere got killed doing something similar and got jumped and killed...that's why it's best that he not take chances with dangerous kids. Let's hope he made it to the end of his shift though as that is of the most importance!

Next thread, what caliber for kids who may have put rocks in snowballs?

That poor cop.
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Old December 20, 2009, 11:52 AM   #17
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The second video shows things much more clearly. I don’t believe it was just an innocent snowball fight (although it may have been started that way) or a misplaced snowball. Have you ever been hit in the face with an icy snowball? If not I’ll be happy to oblige. Also, these people were not in a park or in some remote location they were throwing snowballs across an intersection. One of the guys in the crowd threw one at the officer’s face (and it landed) while he was calling for backup…

If you weren’t there you shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Everyone Opinions should be based on facts. The guy that was videoing heard someone had a gun and ran to see who it was like it was a game…this kind of stuff can get out of hand very easily.
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Old December 20, 2009, 12:01 PM   #18
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For the life of me, I can't see anything productive coming out of this. At this point, we don't know the details, and even Internal Affairs isn't jumping to conclusions .

The media loves sheer speculation; we don't.

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