December 20, 2009

"DC Cop Waves Gun at Snowball Fight!" Sorry. I'm siding with the cop.

"DC Cop Waves Gun at Snowball Fight!"  — that's the Reason Magazine headline on this video:



Additional text at the video page:
Around 2.30PM on Saturday, December 19, during a historic snowstorm, residents at the intersection of 14th and U Streets NW started throwing snowballs at passing Hummers.
There is a difference between a snowball fight and throwing snowballs at moving vehicles. In a snowball fight — like this cool one in Madison a couple weeks ago — you have voluntary participants playing at fighting with each other. Throwing snowballs at cars, on the other had, is surprising people who happen upon the scene and it's distracting them — and doing so at a time when it is particularly difficult to drive. Drivers do not know the extent of the interference when it begins, and they can be frightened or easily stimulated into braking or accelerating — when there is snow and ice and when pedestrians are nearby. Whether the vehicles are Hummers or not makes no difference. Were they protesting gas guzzling? That might seem cute or righteous or harmless, but it might not be. The drivers don't know.
One of the cars pelted was driven by a plainclothes police officer identified only as Det. Baylor. Baylor got out of his car and brandished his gun at the crowd.
"Brandished" is a heavy word and "brandished... at" connotes that he pointed the gun at people, which he did not.
Reason.tv's Dan Hayes was on the scene, capturing the tense confrontation between police and citizens who chanted "Don't bring a gun to a snowball fight!"
This reminds me of the 1960s era demonstrations where it seemed like a good idea to taunt the police instead of showing them respect. Baylor got out of his car, apparently, to try to deal with disorder that he couldn't have known the precise nature of. Alone, facing a confusing crowd, he got his gun in his hand.

Why couldn't people have spoken with him in a civil way and conveyed the assurance that there was no problem requiring police attention? Did they consider that there might be people elsewhere in the city, during the snow emergency, who actually would have benefited from help from a police officer who got delayed by unruly adults who thought snow suspended the rules and made it okay to throw objects at moving cars?

The quoted chant is "Don't bring a gun to a snowball fight!" and that sounds funny and fun-loving, but it got me thinking of the encounters with police that we saw in the 1960s when it took next to nothing to provoke shouts of "police brutality" and "pig." And in fact, if you watched the whole video, you heard the shout "Fuck you, pig."

I'm siding with the cop.

IN THE COMMENTS: Chef Mojo says "This was no innocent snowball fight" and links here, to a post at futureMAGINING, written at 1:39, about 40 minutes before Baylor arrived, called "Announcing The DC Snowpocalypse Guerilla Snowball Fight 2009!"
Where? 14th & U st. NW
What? Massive guerilla snowball fight in the middle of the street.
A fun snowball fight would be sited in a park of some kind, not in the middle of the street.
When? Saturday, December 19th, 2009 @ 2 PM.
We will also be tweeting details at twitter.com/futuremagining.
If you try to go to that twitter page now, it says "Sorry, the profile you were trying to view has been suspended due to strange activity."
The only way to play it safe is to bring a posse. This may be complete anarchy.

Remember, if you’re throwing a snowball- you’re game.
Now, that could be a set-up for fun, like the Madison snowball fight, but not in a busy city street.  The first few comments say that the fight belongs in a park, and the "admin" responds: "The reason we’re calling it a 'guerilla snowball fight' is because it’s in the middle of the street." If someone called the police, they were right to respond.

Now, futureMAGINING has a statement up about the incident, written by Yousef Ali:
The “detective” who started waving his gun around inappropriately without even identifying himself as an officer of the law needs to be reprimanded.  To those who were there with us at the snowball fight, the difference of knowing that the person waving a gun is a hot-headed law enforcement agent who is unlikely to shoot outside of strict protocol versus a random thug with a penchant for violence is HUGE.  When that gun was drawn, many feared for their lives and those of their friends.
Watching the video, I wondered why so many people were laughing and hanging around... and taunting the man. That's not how I'd behave if I thought I might be near a "random thug" with a gun in his hand. I'd say their behavior shows they knew he was a cop attempting to follow whatever the protocol is when one man faces a mob. Unfortunately, the video does not show the entire confrontation.

212 comments:

1 – 200 of 212   Newer›   Newest»
Julius Ray Hoffman said...

OK, now you're a right-winger... He wasn't even on duty, was he? So he wasn't being delayed on his way to some important police thing. Even if he was, there was no need to whip out a GUN. The whole situation changes when you whip out a gun.

This just doesn't seem like you. Did Meade ghost-write this post?

Chef Mojo said...

A little context is indeed in order. This was no innocent snowball fight.

http://tinyurl.com/yf2vlby

To quote from the link:

The only way to play it safe is to bring a posse. This may be complete anarchy.
Remember, if you’re throwing a snowball- you’re game.

They were there to protest SUVs for being evil Gaia rapers, or something. Provocation and propaganda.

chuck b. said...

"He wasn't even on duty, was he?"

Is a cop ever off-duty?

Chef Mojo said...

Julius,

He's a dectective. Plainclothes. And yes, he's on duty. It's a snow emergency in DC. Cops are all automatically on duty, overtime authorized and leaves canceled. Same with fire & rescue personnel.

Those people on 14th & U were there with an agenda, which was to have a snowball fight in the middle of the street and to pelt SUVs with snowballs as a form of protest.

Snowballs are thrown at the detective after the demonstrators know that he's a cop. They escalated the situation, as they are trained to do.

Roux said...

The officer should never pull his weapon unless he is preparing to use it. Never! It was a dumb move on his part.

It's also stupid to throw snowballs at moving vehicles but it still doesn't excuse the officer. He should be reprimanded.

Matt Eckert said...

Hey why didn't you give Crack credit for this post that you lifted from his blog?

You should cover your tracks a little better than that.

Synova said...

I definitely took "snowball fight" to be a fun game between willing participants.

Throwing anything at cars is dangerous.

Scott said...

Okay, if you're siding with the cop, then explain why he should have pulled his weapon. If he was worried about being hit by a snowball, would he ever be justified in shooting the the snowball thrower?

Ann Althouse said...

@Scott One cop faces a mob of people who are deliberately creating anarchy in the middle of the street. What is the protocol?

Dogwood said...

I would have sided with the cop had he not pulled his gun. Stupid move.

The scene may have been chaotic but potentially life threatening to himself or others thus requiring a possible lethal response? Not seeing it.

You don't stop your vehicle, get out, then pull a gun because someone hit your Hummer with a snowball.

And if you're afraid of the large crowd, then don't get out of the vehicle until backup arrives.

Poor judgment.

joated said...

The cop was in no way justified in pulling out his weapon.

Imagine the reaction if someone with a concealed carry permit had done this. Would that person have been justified in pulling his weapon?

Ann Althouse said...

@Chef Mojo Where did you get the information that "They were there to protest SUVs for being evil Gaia rapers, or something."

EDH said...

I'm sympathetic to the cop, but for the officer's own benefit he shouldn't have pulled the gun, especially in that situation. A strike, spray, or non-lethal weapon would have been more appropriate.

Strangely as it sounds, its easy to get confused with the lethal consequences of a gun in a situation where you are dealing with a hostile crowd.

Watch the shooting of Oscar Grant by a BART police officer, after he's cuffed and prone.

Look at the officer's face and you can tell he did it by a mistake, as if he was confused by the larger situation and lost his focus.

Shanna said...

I was definately not siding with the cop until I saw the idiots who looked ready to throw a snowball at a cop who has his gun and has told you to stop.

1. Throwing snowballs at moving cars is not cool.

2. There are a zillion places in DC you could have a snowball fight other than in the middle of the road.

3. I think U street and 14th is an OK neighborhood, but I don't blame the cop for being prepared. Other parts of U street are not so nice.

4. The participants were a little quick to jump to the "fuck you pig" place. If the cop says to stop throwing snowballs at willing participants, ok be annoyed but go have your snowball fight somewhere that isn't in the middle of the street. If the cop says to stop throwing snowballs at cars, stop it.

The cop was obviously pissed and maybe he shouldnt' have gotten his gun out in the first place, but the crowd was clearly full of assholes.

EDH said...

Watching the video again, I don't think Grant was cuffed, but I think the point remains.

Again, I think the officer was the one who lived to regret it the most.

Jeffrey said...

I'm absolutely behind the policeman here 100%. Listen, if I'm driving down the street and a gang of ADULTS on a street-corner start throwing snowballs at me as I'm driving past, that puts me in danger and I WANT a policeman to enforce basic law.

These people are obviously moronic flash-mobbers. I mean, WHO still uses the word "pig" for a policeman?

Did these people just get off the plane from Copenhagen?

*

William said...

The cop was acting a little red assed. Unlike Obama, I would not accuse him of acting supidly. He acted imperfectly in a difficult and volatile situation. You've got to give cops some slack in the performance of their duties.

Ralph L said...

I think U street and 14th is an OK neighborhood
Then it's changed quite a lot recently. That area was the heart of the 68 riots and burned up. Gentrification had gotten to R street a few years ago, so it's probably near the border between rich & poor and white & black. If he is a white detective, showing the gun was a sensible precaution in that part of DC.

Lem said...

I'm with Althouse on the reasoning as to why its not a good idea to throw snow at cars.

But I'm more interested in what happened after the policeman brandished the gun.
I'm going to speculate that the seemingly disconnected knowledge, a hintegedanka, that that policeman may have felt embolden because Obama (a black man) is the President of the United States and therefore he believed he should get perhaps more respect.

See professor Henry Gates and cop James Crowley.

The knowledge of who is the president is not lost on the snow trowing mob, which choose to react to this hintegedanka vis-à-vis the cop with sheer contempt.

This cop probably believes hes special.. we are going to show him.

Shanna said...

There are definately parts of U that are not good and parts of 14th that are fine. I haven't lived in DC in a number of years, so I'm not really sure but I think that is kind of borderline. My point was, the cop may have had reason to be wary.

EDH said...

The Boston Massacre was an incident that led to the deaths of five civilians at the hands of British troops on March 5, 1770, the legal aftermath of which helped spark the rebellion in some of the British American colonies, which culminated in the American Revolution...

The crowd continued to harass the soldiers and began to throw snow balls and other small objects at the soldiers. Private Hugh Montgomery was struck down onto the ground by a club wielded by Richard Holmes, a local tavernkeeper. When he recovered to his feet, he fired his musket, later admitting to one of his defense attorneys that he had yelled "Damn you, fire!". It is presumed that Captain Preston would not have told the soldiers to fire, as he was standing in front of the guns, between his men and the crowd of protesters. However, the protesters in the crowd were taunting the soldiers by yelling "Fire". There was a pause of indefinite length; the soldiers then fired into the crowd. Their uneven bursts hit eleven men. Three Americans — ropemaker Samuel Gray, mariner James Caldwell, and a mixed race sailor named Crispus Attucks — died instantly... To keep the peace, the next day royal authorities agreed to remove all troops from the centre of town to a fort on Castle Island in Boston Harbor. On March 27 the soldiers, Captain Preston and four men who were in the Customs House and alleged to have fired shots, were indicted for murder...

A problem was that no lawyers in the Boston area wanted to defend the soldiers, as they believed it would be a huge career mistake. A desperate request was sent to John Adams from Preston, pleading for him to work on the case. Adams, who was already a leading Patriot and who was contemplating a run for public office, nevertheless agreed to help, in the interest of ensuring a fair trial.

Fred4Pres said...

Did whipping out his BADGE not work first?

Cops can be targets and need to protect themselves (such as what happened in Lakewood, WA last week) but if you wade into a snowball fight you might get hit by a snowball.

Cops need to think, what would Andy Taylor do in a situation like this, not what would Barney Fife do.

Jeffrey said...

Here's a question. Did the guy with the video camera cut the beginning where they were pelting cars as they passed by? And targeting people driving what the flash-mob considered environmentally incorrect? Did he cut the parts that show WHY the policeman pulled over in the first place?

*

Dad Bones said...

If they were throwing rocks a gun would be justified. A hard packed wet snowball thrown by someone with a good arm can be worse than a rock. I don't blame the cop for not wanting to find out if that good arm was winding up on him from somewhere in the crowd.

Fred4Pres said...

Ironic though that Col. West got forced out of the Army for brandishing a hand gun at an Iraqi terrorist, but cops in DC can do so against civilians in a snowball fight.

Lem said...

My speculation is that if Obama were not the president this incident would have turned out differently.

I hope i got my verbiage right ;)

TRO said...

What the frack does "whip out a GUN" mean. Is that worse that whipping-out a gun (lower case)? And what is whipping-out anyway? Do you mean removing his weapon from the holster? Okay, he did that. And he pointed it down with the finger off the trigger as officers are trained to do.

Whipped-out his GUN. So much more scary sounding I guess. And funny.

And police officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Uniform or not.

And from the video it looks like his vehicle was hit with snowballs - although he may have not known exactly what was hitting it at the time - and he came out with his weapon drawn as a precaution. He then holstered it. Without pointing at anyone that I can see. Again, nothing wrong with that. Nor should it be.

He was facing an obviously hostile crowd even before he pulled the gun. People who are predisposed to call officers "fucking pigs" don't seem to me to be the snow angel and fun snowball fighting types.

While I might not have drawn my weapon in this situation, I certainly might have considered it. And I wouldn't have faulted a fellow officer for doing so.

Of course to Balko and the guys over at Reason TV, no cop can do anything correctly so even a little bit of background and perspective isn't exactly expected in their reporting.

Oh, and someone asked "if someone with a concealed carry permit had done this. Would that person have been justified in pulling his weapon?" Well, I don't know what the reaction of the cops would have been, but the reaction of Reason TV would have been something along the lines of "poor law-abiding citizen with legal concealed-carry permit was just defending himself from rabid crowd and has the right to be armed, etc."

Chef Mojo said...

@Althouse

I should have been a bit more clear. I got the impression that was the purpose from the comments at the youtube link. Eyewitnesses say that snowballers were targeting SUVs driving by for environmental reasons. Det. Baylor's SUV was not the only vehicle targeted. Notice, with all the video and cameras there, nothing is shown of the rest the actions of the "fight" before Det. Baylor involved himself.

Also notice that every other DC cop responding to the call has his hand on his sidearm, ready to draw. They are approaching this crowd as potentially hostile, which it is.

Lem said...

Too bad there wasn't any snow in Miami ;)

TRO said...

Oh, and that statement that everyone was in fear for their lives and the lives of their friends is absolute bullshit. People who are in fear do not taunt a man with a gun. They don't stand around laughing. They run for cover, or in the more Red-State areas of our nation, fight back.

These morons knew he was an officer and decided to ratchet it up a lot for the cameras. Kudos to Reason TV for acting like the big news media.

Jeffrey said...

TRO,

People who are predisposed to call officers "fucking pigs" don't seem to me to be the snow angel and fun snowball fighting types.

Exactly.

I have a feeling the guy behind the camera cut out any footage that implicates the actions of the gang on the corner.

*

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Finally! A conservative concern for competently managing something mundane - the only role at which we should expect them to excel: Keeping the streets clear of snow particles any bigger than a small cluster of flakes.

That's what I want from my conservatives! No grand ideas, no pretension to keeping the world safe for democracy or the economy safe for dying industries. Instead, manage the traffic and keep the streets orderly! Because everyone knows that artificially constructed balls of snow can kill a driver as they softly splatter and harmlessly dissipate across a heavily defrosting windshield. Especially in a developing snowstorm! So take out the guns and keep those undriveable streets snowball-free!

Added bonus to this thread: I love the way Ann gets all excited at the prospect of added intel from Chief Mojo to legitimize the joke that "They were there to protest SUVs for being evil Gaia rapers, or something."

Reading that was almost as fun as taking part in a big snowball fight. One big enough to make a couple of irate cops itchy. Why, it must be 1968 all over again!

How much do I have to pay to see this become a campaign issue next fall?

Kirk Parker said...

All you guys saying the cop should have just stayed in the car until backup arrived--so do you think this would have played better in the press if the headline were "SWAT Team Confronts Snowball Throwers"? I don't think so.

Look, it would have been better for the officer's own safety for him to have done just that, but given that law enforcement resources were already stretched thin, it was probably better overall for him to try to quell things right away.

And if he drew his handgun but didn't point it at anyone, then it's not brandishing. Police do that all the time when apprehending people.

-----------------------
wv: juttoq -- when the buttocks extend out too far.

Jim said...

Here's a story about a cop that should concern everyone:

http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/killed-on-camera-alvin-weems-michael-pleasance/Content?oid=1264452

It's all on the video at the bottom.

Lem said...

Especially in a developing snowstorm! So take out the guns and keep those undriveable streets snowball-free!

I thought there wasn't supposed to any snow anywhere .. remember Al Gore's Global Warming?

Homicidal Orange said...

Admittedly throwing snowballs at cars is not a good idea. But the idea they were endangering those cars is vapid, there was so much snow on the ground nobody was moving quickly.

And no matter how dumb it is to throw snowballs at cars, it's even dumber to stop your car in the middle of the street, pull out your gun without identifying yourself as a cop because your snow covered hummer (compensating much?)was hit with a loosely packed snowball

traditionalguy said...

Social order is a police duty, even if he was off duty. The old saying that everyone is equal but some are more equal than others comes to mind when a colt 45 automatic dangles from one fighters hand and nothing but snowballs are dangling from the other hands.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Whooopsy Daisy! I didn't anticipate that Lem would confuse warming with drying! Snow, after all, is a form of precipitation.

Sorry Lem. Next time I'll put it in the footnotes.

For the others:

Anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line knows that snow that fresh is too dry to be packed as hard as an ice-infused projectile.

Peano said...

I think the rule of thumb is, you draw your weapon if, in the circumstances, deadly force might be necessary to protect yourself or others.

The snowballers were wrong to throw at moving cars or otherwise interfere with traffic. But deadly force? No, the cop was wrong. He showed very poor judgment. By his own word, he drew his weapon "because I got hit with snowballs."

Please ...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Pretty clever of you to take George Orwell's precautionary line about totalitarianism from Animal Farm and dress it up in language defending the actions of the police, TG. After all, Ann's objective here may come down to proving that the snowballers were dangerous, perhaps even Alinskyite, radicals(!), and portraying the cops as agents of a dictatorship doesn't help that aim, TG.

tfvanguard said...

So, Ann, what you're basically saying is that anyone who throws a snowball at a care deserves to die. You are aware that that's what policeman across the nation are trained, right? When they pull their gun, they're expected to fire.

Using a firearm to intimidate an unarmed crowd while also failing to identify yourself as a police officer... sorry, Ann, there's absolutely, positively, no excuse for the officer's conduct in this matter, and he should be removed from the force as a matter of public safety.

If that were not enough, his behavior afterwards, including randomly targeting people in the crowd, manhandling them, and arresting them, is proof that this officer is wholly unfit.

Chris said...

I also found myself siding with the cop here. I'm certainly opposed to inappropriate behavior on the part of law enforcement, but in this case people were throwing shit at passing vehicles. That is dangerous, doubly so in bad weather conditions in a city full of people who can't drive in snow. People don't take property rights nearly seriously enough.

tfvanguard said...

Then, you believe those college-aged 'kids' should die for having a snowball fight. I want to be clear on this. They throw a snowball, it's a perfectly rational and reasoned response that the police should kill them?

mariner said...

Fred4pres:
Cops need to think, what would Andy Taylor do in a situation like this, not what would Barney Fife do.

The thread winner so far.

Drawing a firearm, even without firing it, is using deadly force. The only excuse for using deadly force is to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm.

Those are the general rules for non-LEO firearms owners, and they should be the rules for LEOs as well.

It doesn't matter whether or not this was "an innocent snowball fight".

The officer:

1. Did not identify himself as a police officer before (or even as) he drew his firearm.

2. Had no reason to fear he was in fear of being killed or seriously injured.

3. To the extent he may have been in any danger at all it was from his own action. He should have called it in and approached only uniformed backup.

I agree that the snowballers were out of order, but that doesn't justify deadly force or the threat of it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line knows that snow that fresh is too dry to be packed as hard as an ice-infused projectile.


Bull. Anyone north of the Mason Dixon line knows that snow comes in many different forms and textures. Just ask the Eskimoos.

Perfect snowman snow packs down very nicely and makes great snowballs. And if you put a rock in the middle of the snowball, you can do some serious harm.

Too bad one of the vehicles didn't spin out of control and squash those idiots like the cockroaches that they are.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Lol Eskimos..... the others

Eskimoos are cows who live in the snow and tundra.

Ralph L said...

Anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line knows that snow that fresh is too dry
DC is well south of the Mason-Dixon line, which is the Maryland-Pennsylvania border. The snow is usually wetter than the Northeast's and West's. When you mix snow and road salt, you can make a pretty heavy slushball.

Chef Mojo said...

@ mariner

1. Did not identify himself as a police officer before (or even as) he drew his firearm.

How do you know this? The video begins with the event in progress.

2. Had no reason to fear he was in fear of being killed or seriously injured.

Perhaps. By the same rule, he had no reason NOT to fear he was in fear of being killed or seriously injured (See Massacre, Boston...). This is why officers approach cars with there hands on their sidearms. They are trained to assume that any crowd or incident they are called to is potentially hostile. Indeed, all the uniformed cops responding all had their hands on their sidearms.

3. To the extent he may have been in any danger at all it was from his own action. He should have called it in and approached only uniformed backup.

By acknowledging that he might have been in danger, you've negated your second point by concession. Regardless, he was an officer of the law. He is not required to wait for backup, and it's quite obvious that backup was called. They arrived within minutes. You can clearly hear the approaching sirens. Even with the arrival of the uniformed cops, the crowd continued to escalate the incident. They acted like a mob.

@ tfvanguard

Don't be an ass. You are beclowning yourself by posting that "question." You really think that Det. Baylor was intending to kill people? Don't be such a fucking drama queen, and go huddle up with MUL/BR.

Lance said...

"One cop faces a mob of people who are deliberately creating anarchy in the middle of the street. What is the protocol?"

Anarchy? That's laying it on a bit thick.

Florida said...

"Cops need to think, what would Andy Taylor do in a situation like this, not what would Barney Fife do."

Yep ... he sure looks like Fitty Fife trying to figure out what to do with the sole bullet Andy lets him carry around.

Ann is, not surprisingly, totally wrong on this post.

A cop is not allowed to brandish his weapon at a citizenry guilty only of "disrespecting his authority." It's dangerous. That's why the DC police have regulations regarding the brandishing of a weapon, and this cop is in violation of those regulations.

Go do some legal research, Ann.

Memo To The Ruling Class: Don't bring your guns to our snowball fights.

We're better armed than you are anyway. So you'll only lose that kind of a fight.

Chef Mojo said...

@ Lance

An anarchist group was present. What do you suppose they were there for? Given what they usually do at protest gatherings, I really don't think that's laying it on thick.

Robert said...

Who hasn't thrown a snowball at a car at some point in their life? Has anybody ever seen a car get damaged from a snowball? Anybody hear of a car that went out of control after being hit by a snowball?

People have common sense. People throw snowballs at cars because it is fun and everybody knows it doesn't do any damage.

Why don't we have massive rock fights? Why don't crowds of people gather to throw rocks at cars?

The Crack Emcee said...

"Did whipping out his BADGE not work first?"

Exactly. I'm no fan of tree-huggers - and stand 100% with the police - but grabbing his gun, in any way, was uncalled for. If he was on duty and the HUMMER was a police car, where's his lights? Where's his badge? Where's any sign of his (rightful) authority but that gun?

I see it as another stupid "dick move", Ann.

On the other hand, the organizers of this thing could, and should, be arrested for disturbing the peace, shouldn't they?

Florida said...

"Anarchy? That's laying it on a bit thick."

Exactly. It's not like these kids are rioting and stealing television sets out of shops ... like they did in South Central.

They're having a fucking snowball fight, for Christsakes.

Anarchy smchmamarchy.

These kids were guilty of making fun of a dumb guy, so he pulled his gun on them. Fucking moron.

This is exactly how the handcuffed kid was murdered at the BART station. Rogue cops who think they have complete authority to order citizens to do whatever they want.

They don't have that authority.

tfvanguard said...

@Chef Mojo

There are now SEVERAL videos out of the entire situation (including a couple of the two idiots that continued to pelt the officer with snowballs). I'm not excusing their behaviour, but...

Yes, it's a matter of police conduct that the moment you unholster your firearm, you are prepared to fire it. Even if his intent was just to bully the crowd with his gun (which is also a felony offense, by the way), it is not unreasonable for anyone in the crowd to assume their life was in jeapordy (because, in fact, it was).

Seriously, though, keep this incident in mind next time there's a Tea Party. I assume you're all behind the police union taking out firearms, harassing, and threatening Tea Party members (even if two or three out of two hundred threw a few snowballs)? I'm sure you would be perfectly okay with that, and even hopeful that the cops will KILL some, just like some of these other disgusting posts indicate?

Anyone who claims to be either conservative or libertarian and sides with the offficer in this case is a liar. Anyone who wishes physical harm, or even death, on the 'snowballers' is far far worse. Certainly they're selective on who gets to be free, and who should be crushed by the heel of the state.

rcocean said...

What a bunch of drama queens. The cop's standing next to his car, with his gun pointed down, finger off the trigger.

He's facing an unruly mob, which appears to be largely white, who are shouting at him and throwing things.

I wonder if he felt racially threatened? Was he called more than just a "Pig" - who knows?

I'm with the Baylor on this.

Florida said...

"If he was on duty and the HUMMER was a police car, where's his lights?"

How does a DC cop afford a luxury Hummer H3? A $50,000 dollar vehicle/

How's he making that nut? Clearly, this raises all kinds of interesting questions that demand answers.

Where is this guy getting all that money I wonder?

Maybe somebody should look into that.

Chef Mojo said...

@ Florida

A cop is not allowed to brandish his weapon at a citizenry guilty only of "disrespecting his authority."

True. But the cop did not "brandish" his weapon. He drew it. He did not point it. He did not wave it around. He drew it in a very specific and safe manner. "Brandishing" has a very specific legal definition. This does not meet it.

Robert said...

"Too bad one of the vehicles didn't spin out of control and squash those idiots like the cockroaches that they are."

Yeah, it probably didn't happen because that tends to NEVER HAPPEN.

The cars were probably driving at about 8 miles an hour. The street wasn't even plowed yet.

So a bunch of kids threw snowballs at cars. Big deal. I keep hearing about these rocks and ice balls that can do damage. Why do you think people would automatically put rocks in snowballs or make an ice ball so they could damge a car? Why bother with the snow? Why not just throw a rock at a car? Why not do it every day of the year?

Florida said...

"He's facing an unruly mob ..."

No he's not.

He's not facing an unruly mob. An unruly mob would have strung him up for threatening them with that gun. An unruly mob, like the ones in South Central, break shit and hurt people and steal stuff. That's an unruly mob.

These kids were having a snowball fight.

Snowballs.

AJ Lynch said...

"what's your badge number....how do you spell Baylor......get his license plate number.....bla bla bla".

Only liberal,dweeb pussies like these kids would throw snowballs at cars but only throw at Hummers. What spontaneous fun that must be.

And sure the cop was wrong and over-reacted but that is not news.

tfvanguard said...

Right, Chef Mojo... so if I take a gun out, finger on the trigger (as shown), pointed in your direction, and just DARE you to mess with me some more - without, once again, revealing that I'm a police officer.. you're perfectly okay with that. No harm done?

Just want to be clear here.

Until today, I've never believed the charges that liberals level to 'the right' about fascism. I do know, for some on 'this side of the aisle'. It digusts me. No one, ever, should be above the law, and that most assuredly MUST include the people who enforce it.

Florida said...

"The cop did not "brandish" his weapon."

Yes he did brandish it.

He took it out of his holster with the intent to threaten those kids. Textbook definition of brandishing. It's exactly how that cop murdered that kid in the BART station.

He was threatening with a gun a crowd that didn't know he was a cop in the first place. A crowd doing nothing illegal.

And he did so in violation of DC police department rules of engagement regarding the use of deadly weapons (and yes, unhostering your deadly weapon is "using" it.)

Almost Ali said...

How does a detective afford a $58,000 Hummer? And a $700 parka?

And who told this clown he owns DC?

Chef Mojo said...

@ Florida

DC detectives can make upwards of 60 to 80 k a year. More than enough for a Hummer. Maybe he even bought it used. Perhaps from a repo or arrest auction? Cops do that.

Once again, DC was under a snow emergency. You hear the radio asking for people with 4WDs to respond and assist law enforcement & rescue in transporting people to hospitals and shelters. All the cops are considered on duty, and if they have 4WDs, then they are going to use them instead of cruisers.

I guess with a name like "Florida," this is sort of beyond your ken.

Your inference is frankly insulting, and beneath contempt. You out yourself as a pathetic troll for that comment.

G Joubert said...

I tend to be on the cop's side here, but it also seems that he was a little out of his element. Poor crowd control tactics. Maybe too many years as a detective, removed from patrol work.

Peano said...

Ann writes: "Throwing snowballs at cars, on the other had, is surprising people who happen upon the scene and it's distracting them — and doing so at a time when it is particularly difficult to drive. Drivers do not know the extent of the interference when it begins, and they can be frightened or easily stimulated into braking or accelerating — when there is snow and ice and when pedestrians are nearby. Whether the vehicles are Hummers or not makes no difference."

All your points are well-taken. You've given a solid argument against throwing snowballs at moving vehicles. But you haven't described any circumstances that justified the cop's decision to draw his weapon.

Ann continues: "Baylor got out of his car, apparently, to try to deal with disorder that he couldn't have known the precise nature of. Alone, facing a confusing crowd, he got his gun in his hand."

He didn't draw his gun because he found the crowd "confusing." He drew because he "got hit with snowballs." That was the reason he gave in the video.

She digs herself in deeper: "Why couldn't people have spoken with him in a civil way and conveyed the assurance that there was no problem requiring police attention?"

Because he drew his gun in response to getting hit with snowballs. It was a disproportionate response that didn't merit anyone's respect.

I don't think you'd make it as a litigator, Ann.

Chef Mojo said...

@ Florida

Yes he did brandish it.

No he didn't. Brandish, legally, means to point or wave in a threatening manner. Show me where he does this.

Florida said...

"How does a detective afford a $58,000 Hummer? And a $700 parka?"

That's a good question.

Well, if was on the take, he might be able to afford those things. Not saying he is on the take. Not saying he's not on the take. But if he is on the take, that might explain it.

I'm sure he's squeaky clean tho.

Still, maybe somebody should look into his spending habits and try to determine how a lowly DC cop can afford such luxury. There might be crimes in progress.

What's his house payment? Is he current on his taxes? His kids in an expensive private school? Internal investigators might be interested.

Lots of this information is public record. I wonder if anyone is doing some actual journalism and checking to make sure this cop is the good cop he's made out to be.

Streets run two ways.

Almost Ali said...

Oh, I get it, Detective Snowball was undercover. Out to right all the wrongs of the world.

AJ Lynch said...

Florida:

You are a real asshole.

Florida said...

"... Show me where he does this."

The evidence is right there in the video. Evidence. You simply choose not to admit it.

He takes his gun out of its holster in a threatening manner in the middle of the street, exhibiting his gun aggressively in order to intimidate bystanders who have committed no crimes; in violation of DC police department rules of engagement regarding the use of deadly force.

Why else is his gun out of its holster if not to aggressively intimidate?

He acted stupidly.

mariner said...

Chef Mojo,

By the same rule, he had no reason NOT to fear he was in fear of being killed or seriously injured ...


The legal justification to use deadly force is a reasonable belief of imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm (or whatever words are equivalent for the jurisdiction).

You have twisted that into something completely different. By your reasoning, I should draw my firearm and carry it around as soon as I step out of my house, because I don't know that I'm NOT in danger. That doesn't fly for me and it shouldn't fly for cops.

By acknowledging that he might have been in danger, you've negated your second point by concession.

No, I haven't. I've said that:

1. He wasn't in danger.
2. Even if I were wrong about that and he was in danger, he caused the danger himself.

I'm appalled that so many people here are so OK with government use of deadly force against unarmed citizens, absent any indication of threat to the cop.

Chef Mojo said...

@ Florida

Stop being a total fuckwad. Your presumption of corruption is, once again, beneath contempt.

Given your attitude, and using your reasoning, I should peg you as a potential cop killer. Your contempt for the law is palpable and not worthy of a US citizen. You are simply scum for saying these things.

As I said previously:

DC detectives can make upwards of 60 to 80 k a year. More than enough for a Hummer. Maybe he even bought it used. Perhaps from a repo or arrest auction? Cops do that.

And pray tell, where do you get the cost of the detectives parka from?

Joel Rosenberg said...

I think there's plenty of reason to think it was just a snowball fight and not anything more, despite the players' hyping of their game as "anarchy" and the need to "bring a posse". If it been a LARP game, they might have been talking about "taking over the world" or "finally putting an end to the zombie menace." But they wouldn't have really been trying to do that. Either.

For one thing, after the excitement is over, the uniformed cop encourages the participants to get back to their snowball fight, and come down to the station if they've got some complaints about the detective. That doesn't sound like a cop who is trying to dispel the aftermath of some snowball insurrection or riot.

The report from one of the organizers of the snowball fight sounds persuasive to me, and not reflexively anti-cop -- they clarified, for example, that they weren't irritated at the uniforms who showed up in response to the 911 man with a gun call -- this is, apparently, the guy who told them to go back to snowball fighting -- and took out his own gun in response to the man with a gun call, quite properly didn't point it at anybody, and also properly reholstered it and deescalated the situation when it was clear that there was nothing that needed shooting right away going on.

That doesn't sound like a bunch of anarchists to me.

As to the detective stopping when his car was hit by the snowballs, you can explain it either as Ms. Althouse does -- or, perhaps, a hotheaded guy who took offense at his car being hit by a snowball (I'd take offense, too, as a nonparticipant) and who decided to stop and try to punish the person who did that, pulling out a gun to intimidate the folks playing. [I guess, if somebody wanted to, they could decide to interpret the mob crowding around the cop car, in one of the photographs, as proof that they snowball insurrectionists where attacking a police car, rather than (as apparently was the case) a bunch of people pushing a stuck cop car out so that the folks inside could be on their way.]

Acting like a mob? Huh? A "mob" who asks a cop for his badge number so that they can file a complaint? (Clearly counting on the presence of the level-headed uniforms to keep him from going off again.) Strange kind of anarchists they've got there. Shouting "don't bring a gun to a snowball fight" at an angry guy who had a few moments before pulled out a gun to threaten them? Either they're suicidal, or -- more likely -- what they're counting on are the uniformed cops to keep the hothead in check.

As to the question about what a person with a carry permit and a handgun would or should have done, that I know a little bit about. A sensible one would have, if his car had been hit by a snowball, continued on his way promptly, calling 911 if he thought that the matter required uniformed police attention. Stopping to "handle" it -- and taking out a gun? Nah. Break-even or lose -- if it had been a permit holder "brandishing" a gun in most jurisdictions over something like that, he'd have been on his way to jail. (Sensible plainclothes cops -- and I know more than a few -- go to some trouble to avoid taking their guns out in public when their badge isn't clearly on display, or they're among badged officers; too many ways that can go badly.)

That said, it's DC. Only cops and criminals have handguns in public.

Chef Mojo said...

@ Florida

Hey fuckwad! Where is he WAVING and POINTING the gun? That's where the legal definition resides. Pulling the gun out of the holster at safe rest is not "brandishing."

Almost Ali said...

Let's analyze the situation; I have a snowball in my hand, and Detective Hummer has a gun in his hand.

I lose. My life. Because Detective Snowball is offended. Because he owns DC.

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lance said...

@ Chef Mojo
"An anarchist group was present. What do you suppose they were there for? Given what they usually do at protest gatherings, I really don't think that's laying it on thick."

Do you have any evidence that the policeman knew any of that? Had he just been reading comments on YouTube?

Even if he had ironclad evidence there were anarchists--ANARCHISTS!--on 14th and U, how does that justify drawing a weapon?

Lem said...

You people are drawing too many inferences from a couple of small peep hole windows.

The videos only capture a small slice of what was happening.

Florida said...

"You are a real asshole."

Yea, AJ, I'm using a bit of hyperbole to make a point: Government officials should not think they are free to point their weapons at us just because we "disrespect" them.

If they do, then we the people are free to look very closely at how they are conducting their lives to make sure they are squeaky clean individuals and are not on the take.

They work for us, and we demand they be professionals at all times. It's when they stop being professionals that handcuffed kids in BART stations get murdered ... shot in the back ... in broad daylight.

This cop acted unprofessionally and he's due some ridicule. And he's going to take it whether he likes it or not.

He needs to be held up so all the other cops can see what happens when you use your deadly eapons against we the people in some sort of demand for respect.

The government needs to know that the people aren't succumbing to that shit meekly. That's the most interesting thing about this video. The people ridicule government overreaction, and rightly so, videotaping it just in case the angry cop maybe murders someone in his anger at being disrespected.

Just like they did at the BART station.

It's easy to be an asshole and pull your gun and demand respect.

But streets run two ways; and they should remember that.

Florida said...

"Pulling the gun out of the holster at safe rest is not "brandishing."

Yes. It is brandishing. He is threatening menace with a deadly weapon. Otherwise, he'd have left it holstered unless his intent is to threaten to use it.

Simple logic kid.

And it's in violation of the District of Columbia Police Department rules of engagement regarding the use of deadly weapons.

He acted stupidly.

Lester Dent said...

Point one - While I do not practice criminal law, it seems to me I recall a case in LS where throwing a snowball at a car is battery of the occupant.

Point Two - When I was in law enforcement, a big thing was made out of "officer presence". An experienced officer (which Det. Baylor presumably is; you rarely make detective as a rookie) understands how to use his/her presence and status as a LEO to exert even some control over a crowd. Drawing a weapon, unless there is imminant threat of deadly or grave injury violence is against most PD's regs.

Point Three - It has been stated that, given the limits on when the tape started, we do not know if Det. Baylor properly identified himself as a police officer and presented his badge. In a situation like this, with a crowd changing, you do not simply flash your badge and assume everyone saw it. You keep your badge out, hung around your neck, stuck shield-out in breast pocket, etc. Detectives do this all the time at crime scenes. I would also note that the evident refusal to give his badge number to inquiring citizens is also probably against departmental regs.

Point Four - Had Det. Baylor been acting in a proper manner, he would have remained by his car, called for uniforms, and tried to explain politely how the actions of the crowd were against the law and might lead to injury. He, as the professional attempting to control the situation, would merely need to control it and prevent further action for 2-3 minutes before uniformed officers could arrive and deal with the issue.

Point Five - Not going to take the time to review applicable code of venue, but in CA his act is a misdemeanor (PC 417(a) et seq). There was no suggestion that the officer could reasonably have feared for his life or safety in the beginning of the film, before he voluntarilly entered the crowd. His job, if indeed he was acting in his capacity as a LEO (see below) was to intervene in the ongoing unlawful activity (assault and battery of drivers by snowballers), stabilize the crowd situation and preserve public safety until backup could arrive, and then turn the matter over to the OIC on the scene. You do not do this by drawing your weapon; you do it by repeatedly announcing yourself as a LEO, use firm but calming language to distract the crowd from any further actions, and wait for your call to be answered.

Point Six - I think what happened here was an officer, who is used to being able to assert his will by color of authority was angry that his pretty and expensive car was hit and possibly scratched. He reacted as any civilian might who has a short temper and stopped to confront those who had the temerity to damage his property. When he did not get the response he desired, he pulled the ultimate power play in his arsenal and showed he "meant business" by pulling a weapon (undoubtedly against departmental guidelines). This was not a law enforcement exercise gone bad - it was an angry motorist who was upset that his pretty car might have been scratched who happened to carry a gun.

Bust him back to a beat until he learns how to be an effective peace officer.

Almost Ali said...

Let's assume I'm alone, snowball in hand.

Along comes Detective Snowball in his new Hummer. I don't like Hummers so I pelt it with my snowball.

Detective Snowball stops, jumps out of his "wounded" Hummer - and assesses the situation; good, no cameras, no bystanders.

I'm dead.

mariner said...

Chef Mojo:

I see you live in Virginia. Here is the law in your state:

§ 18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured.

Here is how that statute is interpreted in your state:

"We disagree with Morris. "Brandish" means "to exhibit or expose in an ostentatious, shameless, or aggressive manner." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 268 (1993). When Morris looked at Ms. Molina, said "[he'd] like that," and then pulled up his shirt to uncover the flare gun, he exhibited or exposed the weapon in a shameless or aggressive manner. And Morris brandished the weapon in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of Peter Molina. -- Morris v. Commonwealth, 269 Va. 127, 607 S.E.2d 110 (2005).

In that case Morris didn't even draw a firearm, he merely uncovered it.

I hope (for the sake of citizens in your state) you're not a cop.

Almost Ali said...

Question: Is there any activity that's not against a strict interpretation of the law?

Especially in the hands of Detective Snowball.

Florida said...

Thus, Mariner checkmates the angry Chef Mojo.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Bull. Anyone north of the Mason Dixon line knows that snow comes in many different forms and textures. Just ask the Eskimoos.

Perfect snowman snow packs down very nicely and makes great snowballs. And if you put a rock in the middle of the snowball, you can do some serious harm.


Unsurprisingly, I'm going to go out on a limb and contest this one. Notice I used the term "fresh" in reference to newly fallen snow. While I've never experienced snow in D.C., or the west, (or the North Pole for that matter), I seem to understand that snow falls when moisture in the air freezes into tiny ice crystals.

The freezing of water requires temperatures to be below its melting point. That's why winter air is drier. So during a snowstorm - as just occurred in D.C. and the rest of the Northeast, temperatures have to be cold enough to be below the freezing point of water.

Once a snowstorm passes, the arrival of warmer temperatures can partially melt the snow, leading to snow of a heavier, denser consistency - of the type that is more dangerous to throw than freshly fallen snow, and easier to pack into snowmen and snowballs.

Too bad one of the vehicles didn't spin out of control and squash those idiots like the cockroaches that they are.

Apparently you've got no compunction against possessing and openly describing the sort of pathological tendencies that lead people to distrust the police - or any armed agent of the government. Death wishes show intent, and in a dispute between two parties as to which one possesses the greater capacity to cause danger, you've already shown your true colors as the only bystander here to actually wish serious bodily injury (or worse) upon others. (After having thrown in dehumanizing metaphors for good measure).

Not too smart, Bunny. And imminently immoral. And much more barbaric and uncivilized than any motive one could ascribe to a bunch of kids playing in a snowstorm.

wv: unfroph

Unfroph your mouth of the spittle that issues forth from it when wishing death upon others.

Florida said...

"Is there any activity that's not against a strict interpretation of the law?"

That's kind of the point. It's why cops love "vagrancy" laws and "loitering" laws. They believe it gives them free reign to push we the people around with complete impunity.

This one found out the limits we the people are putting on this sort of shit.

Remember the cop who broadsided that kid on the bike in New York:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUkiyBVytRQ

Remember the cop who killed that handcuffed kid at the BART station who was lying down prone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVsncZ7K584

The people are getting sick of rouge government officials pulling out their weapons at inappropriate times and threatening us with them, and killing us with them.

This video demonstrates the limits that are going to be put on the government to continue this sort of shit.

Almost Ali said...

Also note that Detective Snowball did not call in the incident, that is, until he exited his Hummer and made it an incident.

But when the posse arrived, the cameras precluded turning the snowball into an unlawful incident.

Take away the cameras, an entirely different story.

Matt Eckert said...

None of this would have happened if Sarah Palin was President.

Since she is from Alaska, she knows how to handle snow.

The way the Esikmo's do.

(my small contribution to get the comments over 200)

AJ Lynch said...

Florida.

Let me be more specific. You are a huge asshole when you suggest a police officer can't afford a $40,000 H3 unless he is on the take.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maguro said...

Little incidents like this are staged for the purpose of provoking the authorities into overreacting. And the cop probably did overreact, so now the hipster doofuses at Reason magazine can scream about police brutality and being oppressed by the man. All very boring and predictable.

I would like to see one of these Reason magazine dweebs spend a week as a DC cop.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

BTW, today's weather in D.C. shows a high of 36 F and a low of 23 F. I'm sure yesterday, when the snows fell, it was much, much colder (as it was here in Philly. Today I even opened a window or two). So I feel safe in assuming that yesterday it was freezing in D.C. and the snow that fell was dry.

But it looks like others here have taken up the real argument - which has to do with cops overstepping their bounds in the name of a Cartmanesque show of authoritah. So I'll leave it to them to continue this conversation and not those who have already given up any pretense of an unbiased interest in legally condoned behavior by declaring their interest in seeing the deaths of certain parties to this story.

Roadkill said...

When I was a kid (late 60's / early 70"s, we used to throw snowballs at cars all the time. It was great fun. I can remember our car getting whacked a few times as well; Mom or Dad just shrugged it off to "kids."

My parents never voiced the idea that such mischief was a crime, or anything close to something requiring police intervention. And the idea that it would require cops brandishing weapons to quell would have seemed to them absolutely ridiculous.

But we live in an era now when nothing is allowed, unless it is mandated. No room anymore for pranks or mischief. Its either legal or illegal. Choose wrong, and cops may pull their guns on you.

Matt Eckert said...

Maybe they can get Steven Segal to transfer to the DC police. He would know what to do without brandishing his gun.

He would brandish his gut instead.

That's enough to stop anybody in their tracks.

Fen said...

Hey Virginia, care to point out the timestamp on the vid where the officer "waves" and "brandishes" his firearm around?

Or are you just making shit up?

Matt Eckert said...

I think you mean Victoria.

Virginia is still waiting for Santa Claus to come back.

Last year she threw a snowball at him and he got off his sleigh and started brandishing his little Saint Nick at her.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

One time, as young kids, we were waiting in the driveway while my mom was in the car, engine idling, while gabbing away to a neighbor. It soon became evident that no one was going anywhere soon, and we were left to get out and play in the snow, which we found melted quite nicely when placed in the exhaust pipe of the running car. We kept doing this even after the engine was turned off.

But after ten minutes, the car was started again, and the engine struggled to give off the exhaust that was now blocked by packed snow in the tailpipe. After a few more turns of the key, we heard a loud "BOOM!", and black slushy soot was expelled across the driveway and front yard.

The car (and its occupants, and all bystanders) was fine.

Go tell the cops to kill us.

Andrea said...

To those of you who are claiming that throwing snowballs at cars going very slow through snow couldn't possibly have endangered anyone: do you drive at all? Everyone knows, or they should, that even small amounts of water, much less frozen water like ice and snow, can make a road completely slick and the two-thousand pound (or how ever much the average car weighs) machine you're in completely uncontrollable even if it is almost at a complete standstill (because it can still be made to slide by something else hitting it, say a snowball, or another car that has been hit by a snowball, say in the windshield so that the driver suddently can't see and by reflex he jams on his brakes...) All it would have taken is one out-of-control car to cause a pileup in such conditions. I drove home through the snow Friday and I can tell you that there were times when I could feel my car trying to slip into a skid when I was going only about five miles an hour, and it felt like I was going fifty in those conditions.

Add to that the fact that I doubt many people in DC are used to driving in such weather conditions as we've had lately, since I gather from all the news reports that such early and heavy snowfalls are rare. So you have a situation where most drivers are white-knuckling it, and you have "college kids" (what, are we supposed to go all "D'awww!" because they are college kids? By all reports college students are one of the most malevolent of the human tribes...) deciding to have a snowball fight in the middle of a street, and throwing snowballs at passing cars, because LOL IMAGN THE DRVRS FAYCES ROTFL. So maybe the cop shouldn't have pulled his gun because aww that a-scared the poor widdle things, but I can sympathize with the cop more than I can sympathize with some overfed, underdisciplined, self-absorbed scion of privilege getting his rocks off tossing stuff at unwitting drivers.

Almost Ali said...

Florida said...
That's kind of the point. It's why cops love "vagrancy" laws and "loitering" laws. They believe it gives them free reign to push we the people around with complete impunity.

True, but it goes much deeper than that - or higher, to be more accurate. It's political policy, wherein the ruling class condones summary, police abuse of the populace in return for their own personal safety. Which in the end is always a fatal mistake, for the rulers.

When the majority finds themselves all in the same boat, society breaks down. Violently.

Meanwhile, it would be interesting to read the resumes of those who support Detective Snowball's provocative actions. In itself, a minor incident to be sure, but indicative of the resulting jack-boot mentality.

Florida said...

"You are a huge asshole when you suggest a police officer can't afford a $40,000 H3 unless he is on the take."

The Hummer H3 retails for almost $50,000, and is considered a luxury vehicle, but to your point:

I'm suggesting that if cops want to threaten deadly force against people tossing snowballs by pulling their department issued weapons on us they better be living squeaky clean fucking lives.

Because we're going to take a good long look at the public record.

And we're going to make sure he can afford that Hummer H3 he's driving around. We're going to make sure he's not on the take, and if he's on the take that's going to come out. And if he's not clean he's going to lose his fat pension.

Because the government works for us.

Not the other way around.

"Asshole" is a two-way street.

Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Eckert said...

Frosty the Snowman was on TV last. I know they made it the sixties and all and things were a lot looser and all but I mean the dude wasn't wearing any pants.

He's hanging out with all these young kids and he's just out there brandishing his snow balls.

Jimmy Durante has a lot to answer for.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Everyone knows, or they should, that even small amounts of water, much less frozen water like ice and snow, can make a road completely slick and the two-thousand pound (or how ever much the average car weighs) machine you're in completely uncontrollable even if it is almost at a complete standstill (because it can still be made to slide by something else hitting it, say a snowball, or another car that has been hit by a snowball, say in the windshield so that the driver suddently can't see and by reflex he jams on his brakes...) All it would have taken is one out-of-control car to cause a pileup in such conditions.

Which is probably why the roads were completely empty here yesterday, as they were in the video.

The whole point is what the cop does afterward. What the kid did to piss him off is irrelevant. If you have no ability to control your emotions than you belong in the mob, not on the beat.

(And I'm not saying I don't sympathize with cops in dangerous situations. I do. But once they are out of danger and acting on bravado and authority rather than a threat to their life, that shit goes out the proverbial window faster than a snowball on the freeway).

If you Virginians are hell-bent on driving, you guys should at least try doing donuts and reverse slams in this. Take advantage of it. A lot of typical outdoor life comes to a standstill in these situations so sane people learn to make do, have some fun, and make the best of it.

Florida said...

"I would like to see one of these Reason magazine dweebs spend a week as a DC cop."

Driving around town in my new $50,000 Hummer H3 waving my pistol at anyone who doesn't respect my authoritay? Sounds like great fun.

Where do I sign up?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Let's assume I'm alone, snowball in hand.

Along comes Detective Snowball in his new Hummer. I don't like Hummers so I pelt it with my snowball.

Detective Snowball stops, jumps out of his "wounded" Hummer - and assesses the situation; good, no cameras, no bystanders.

I'm dead.



Let's assume you are an idiot.

Don't throw snowballs or anything else at people you don't know.

Why would you think it was a good idea to attack a total stranger? Why do you think you have the right to try to destry someone's property and possibly the vehicle that might provide their livelyhood? Property that is expensive and that the person works very hard to maintain?

Why do you think you should be immune from retaliation?

85% of the people where I am are packing, either on their person or in their vehicles. Even if they didn't shoot you (which might be a bit over the top) they would probably beat the living snot out of you and leave you face down in the snow.

You would deserve it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Why do you think you should be immune from retaliation?

Bunny needs to re-program her TIVO so it doesn't intersperse episodes of Law and Order with scenes from The Sopranos.

Youngblood said...

"Do you have any evidence that the policeman knew any of that? Had he just been reading comments on YouTube?"

Well, he could have simply been looking squarely at the black bloc anarchist agitator with "US OUT OF EVERYWHERE" painted on his snowball shield. You know, the guy who's there and plainly trying to escalate the situation and turn the crowd against the cops? Alternately, he could have seen any of the other black bloc agitators who try to stay out of the camera's view but bop into frame from time to time.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bunny needs to re-program her TIVO so it doesn't intersperse episodes of Law and Order with scenes from The Sopranos.


Ritmo, or whatever your name is this week, needs to step out of his/her liberal fanatsy land bubble into real life.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And I think it says a lot that someone from a community that is apparently given to vigilantism doesn't understand the difference between enforcing the law and acting on a personal urge to illegally retaliate.

So much for the idea that every gun rights advocate understands the meaning of self-defense.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

In my real life, we have cops who respect the community and do not act like assholes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And I think it says a lot that someone from a community that is apparently given to vigilantism doesn't understand the difference between enforcing the law and acting on a personal urge to illegally retaliate.

And I think it is interesting that Gitmo thinks it is perfectly ok to criminally threaten and assault innocent people minding their own business. And that those people should have no recourse or that someone won't decide to take action.

Interesting, because that isn't the way the real world works.

Matt Eckert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And I think it is interesting that Gitmo thinks it is perfectly ok to criminally threaten and assault innocent people minding their own business. And that those people should have no recourse or that someone won't decide to take action.

Where did I say that I think such a thing?

The recourse would be legal action. Which, of course, you don't seem capable of distinguishing from illegal action.

In the real world, civilized people respect the idea of rule of law.

Anytime Mariner or Lester want to chime in is ok with me. But they've argued their points, which were much more interesting than this B.S. Who really thinks an irremediable barbarian is worth debating points of law with?

Joel Rosenberg said...

I haven't noticed anybody who has argued that the offduty plainclothes cop acted badly say that it's okay to throw snowballs at passing cars. I certainly don't think it is. But is it really the sort of thing that an offduty cop is wise to escalate? It appears that the people who actually called the cops were the snowball throwers -- and that wasn't over a few (unreasonably, sure) thrown snowballs, but over a guy pulling a gun over a few thrown snowballs.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Real Barack said...

Axelrod begged me to stay out of this. But I must say the DC detective acted stupidly.

Kylos said...

Ritmo, you're a little mistaken about snowfall. While freezing temperatures are required for snow formation, the temperature gradient can be inverted so that there is warmer air near the ground. This creates a very soggy snowfall during which initial accumulation can take a while to begin. Once a base forms, however, the big, heavy (wet) flakes can accumulate rapidly, and can create perfect conditions for snowballs while the snow is still falling.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Okay, if you're siding with the cop, then explain why he should have pulled his weapon.

Easy. There was a mob.

Next stupid question.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In the real world, civilized people respect the idea of rule of law.


Really? In that case why are they assaulting people if they are civilized people who respect the rule of law?

Anytime Mariner or Lester want to chime in is ok with me. But they've argued their points, which were much more interesting than this B.S. Who really thinks an irremediable[sic] barbarian is worth debating points of law with?

At least this barbaian knows how to spell irredeemable.

The cop was probably out of line for a police officer, but if you think that in your little idealist bubble that attacking people, private citizens, will not result in 'bad consequences' and that the attacked is just going to stand meekly by while waiting for the police to come and slap you on the wrist, you do live in a fantasy world.

Is everyone going to attack you back. Probably not, because most people are sheep. Maybe only 15% will get out and beat the crap out of you or worse. However, do you really want to test that theory?

If you are so concerned about the letter of the law and civilized people, I suggest you worry about the idiots that were causing the trouble in the first place.

Youngblood said...

Joel wrote:

"It appears that the people who actually called the cops were the snowball throwers..."

Except, if you actually watch the video instead of making shit up, you can plainly see the plainclothes officer getting on his radio to call for backup before going over to confront the crowd.

This theory is supported by the fact that, when the uniformed police officers arrive, they don't treat the plainclothes officer in the same way that they would treat a random guy standing in the middle of an intersection holding a handgun.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I haven't noticed anybody who has argued that the offduty plainclothes cop acted badly say that it's okay to throw snowballs at passing cars.

Better yet, why weren't any of them arrested? Isn't throwing objects at moving cars considered dangerous? Or is it just funny right up to the point where the startled driver loses control and kills someone?

Dogwood said...

Why do you think you have the right to try to destry someone's property and possibly the vehicle that might provide their livelyhood?

The Hummer H3 weighs about 5,000 pounds, so it is very unlikely that a snowball weighing a couple ounces is going to "destroy it". Scratch it maybe, destroy, never.

As for those commenting on the price, they start at $33,000 and work their way north from there, so not unobtainable for law enforcement officers.

Now for some perspective: C'mon people, it was a bunch of snowballs and the cop stopped his vehicle and pulled his FUCKING GUN.

You only draw a firearm if you intend to use it. Period. Lives better be on the line and you better be ready to pull the trigger, or it stays in the holster.

The cop is supposed to be a professional and know how to gain control of such situations. He did not act professionally and his behavior immediately undercut his ability to influence/control the crowd.

At the very least he needs to be retrained on crowd control 101, at worst, busted to patrolman where he can relearn the basics.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

However, not able to spell barbarian, obviously. LOL

Too much champagne.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

irremediable definition

ir·re·medi·able (ir′i mē′dē ə bəl)

adjective

that cannot be remedied or corrected; incurable or irreparable

Etymology: L irremediabilis

I'm so glad Blogger does me the favor of not underlining the words that are spelled correctly.

Bunny, listen. If you want to argue that police should be held to no higher standard when it comes to following the law than a prison inmate would be held to, then why are you even participating in this thread? No one else here seems to desire as low a set of expectations of the cops as you seem to have.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The cop is supposed to be a professional and know how to gain control of such situations. He did not act professionally and his behavior immediately undercut his ability to influence/control the crowd.

Are you a police officer? I'm guessing not. Well lets see. He got out of his car and also pulled a walkie talkie calling for backup. The crowd wasn't exactly acting friendly. Yes, I'd pull my weapon too.

The crowd was clearly there to provoke. I'm still wondering why none of them were arrested for causing a public disturbance and possibly causing an automobile accident.

Almost Ali said...

Dust Bunny asserts...
Even if they didn't shoot you (which might be a bit over the top) they would probably beat the living snot out of you and leave you face down in the snow.

You're right about being left face down in the snow. Still, highly unlikely. I live the code of a true boyscout, ie "Be prepared."

Meanwhile, Detective Snowball was not assaulted. His car was [apparently] hit by a snowball.

But to go back to your scenario, if that fruitcake pulled a gun on me, there'd be hell to pay. Because my neighbors are also boyscouts.

In fact, I encourage all beleaguered citizens to become boyscouts, - in fact, very good boyscouts.

Palladian said...

It's funny to hear the so-called liberals siding against the agents of the State, the police. Yet when we solid citizens stop handing over our income to be redistributed who will your beloved leaders send to bring us by force to prison?

You want anarchy and snowball fights and "off the pigs", all the small, worthless signs of impotent adolescent rebellion. But you also want to force me to hand over my money and my freedoms in the service of your ludicrous and criminal schemes, using the unquestionable violence of those same "pigs" you pelted with snowballs yesterday.

There's that nuance we hear so much about these days.

If there's one thing liberals know about, it's snowballing. How big do you think those snowballs you're rolling down Capitol Hill are going to get by the time they've blundered across the country and flopped into the sea, anyway?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bunny, listen. If you want to argue that police should be held to no higher standard when it comes to following the law than a prison inmate would be held to,

Of course the police should be held to a higher standard. However, you seem to think that there is something called the rule of law that works in the 'wild' like a clock.

Got news for you Gitmo....there is no rule of law in many places and to think that there is and assume that stupid actions have no consequences is worse that stupid.

Palladian said...

Almost Ali, does your name happen to be Yousef? Are you the snowballer-in-chief?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"there is no rule of law in many places"

In America, there is rule of law. Period. It's what defines the patriotism of people who understand what differentiates this country from others.

Nice attempt Palladian makes at stepping in at the seventh inning and pretending liberals have a problem siding against the state or its arbitrary exercise of power.

Matt Eckert said...

Maybe Barry can invite the cop and the kids over for snow cones.

It could be the snow cone summit.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In America, there is rule of law. Period. It's what defines the patriotism of people who understand what differentiates this country from others.

Really?

Then I guess you advocate that every single one of those snowball throwing assholes should be in jail at this time?

Do you?

Or are you selective about how, who, when and where the rules apply?

If so then that makes you no different than the asshole cop or any other corrupt politician who expects special treatment.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I advocate that if charges are brought forth and found credible by a judge, they should be subject to a trial by a jury of their peers.

What is wrong with you? Is basic elementary and high school civics this hard to understand?

Youngblood said...

Almost Ali wrote:

"Meanwhile, Detective Snowball was not assaulted. His car was [apparently] hit by a snowball."

Meanwhile, Detective Baylor drove into an intersection while tending to his duties and discovered a mob of adults pelting passing cars with snowballs in the middle of a chaotic snow emergency during which more snow fell in 24 hours than usually falls during an entire winter. He gets out of his car, at which point the crowd continues throwing snowballs at him. After identifying himself as a police officer, a black bloc anarchist agitator in the crowd attempts to incite the crowd against him.

At some point, he realizes that this situation is dangerous and draws his weapon.

Almost Ali said...

Palladian said...
Almost Ali, does your name happen to be Yousef?

Not yet. But like a good boyscout, I'm obviously prepared.

Youngblood: I saw it differently; Detective Snowball was cruising around looking for trouble. The best he could find was a snowball. And like a jack-booting thug, he pulled a gun.

Consider the reaction of the crowd, like Detective "Baylor" was a piece of inhuman garbage - by his own admission.

But for the restraint of the snowballing "mob," he's lucky he wasn't beaten to death like a baby seal.

Palladian said...

I really wish an SUV pelted by Jim Henson's Anarchist Babies and their Snowballs of Righteousness had gone out of control and mowed down a bunch of the pampered little neo-yippies.

Lance said...

The crowd wasn't exactly acting friendly. Yes, I'd pull my weapon too.

You're not being serious, right?

Almost Ali said...

...Of course you do.

ken in sc said...

I have lived in Washington DC. It is not really a part of America. It is a kind of a third world frontier location—more like Manila or Bangkok. You can park your car and if you don’t pay the local kids to protect it, your mirrors and windows will be broken when you return. Once, I saw a disabled car on the side of the road on my way to work and when I came home for lunch, the hood and trunk were open and the car was on fire. Going out on the weekend was like planning a major security operation. If you were not rich enough to afford personal security, I would not live there. The cop was justified in his actions. He knows where he is.

Youngblood said...

Almost Ali wrote:

"I saw it differently..."

Well, duh. Of course you did. But then again you rant about jackbooted thugs and play internet tough guy and simply ignore the evidence that's directly in front of your face that plainly shows an anarchist agitator attempting to incite the crowd against the plainclothes officers and the uniformed officers who arrive a little bit later.

Palladian said...

In fact I don't know what I dislike more: over-reactive cops or hipster anarchists.

I think I like over-reactive cops more because, unlike hipster anarchists even bad cops are sometimes useful.

Nichevo said...

I suppose, then, that surrounding them with two or three rifle squads, opening fire with SAWs and ARs, then moving in for headshots is right out?

(I'm sure the US would be better off for their loss. Any given massacre of (B.A.) college students is more likely than not a net benefit to the country - to any country. Certainly any college in the DC area.

Oh, they were anarchists? Even better!)


Almost: After he shoots the first five or six do you think the rest are really going to keep trudging through three-foot snowdrifts to put a beatdown on him?

Ritmo: Funny, I wonder what cops in Brazil would do and how it would be regarded there. Assuming, LOL, there would ever be snow.

Florida: I won't even dignify you with a response, we've already seen that you are not for real.

BTW I hope it is understood that DC metro residents are pathologically unable to deal with snow. Once the road is no longer black, total panic. It is unkind, and unsafe, to torment them with additional distractions like snowballs.

Sigh...I just wish they had been in Astoria and done that to Gotti's car.

No, as you can see, I am anti-snowballing of nonconsenting parties and their horseless carriages. Shooting would be an overraction - IF there were handy recourse to a firehose to spray them all down.

Legal recourse? There's no legal recourse to being snowballed. Better to shoot people than to bring snowball cases to court.



TW: shiesses - yes, shoot those shits. See, Blogger's got my back.

David said...

Only once have I had a loaded gun pointed at me. It was a Chicago cop holding it. I did exactly as he told me.

Taunting a man with a gun is bad policy.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"...even bad cops are sometimes useful."

Sure. To a drug dealer, the head of an organized crime syndicate, or a woman so in need of a relationship with an authority figure that she doesn't care if he's good or bad. And while I could rule out the first two scenarios, I now have even more reason than before to suspect that you mistakenly see yourself as a woman, cause I can't imagine many bad cops having much use for a gay guy. Unless they're accompanied by a biker, an Indian, a construction worker, a cowboy and a sailor.

Corruption under the law is never really a good thing. After seeing more of the video, I can understand why the cop was pissed. And the kids were acting like spoiled jerks. But the sane arguments are being pursued by people without death wishes.

Dogwood said...

I really wish an SUV pelted by Jim Henson's Anarchist Babies and their Snowballs of Righteousness had gone out of control and mowed down a bunch of the pampered little neo-yippies.

Yeah because cars moving at a snail's pace are highly likely to careen out of control when hit by a couple snowballs.

If these people were chucking snowballs at cars while standing on a highway overpass and the vehicles were traveling at highway speeds, then yeah, your safety point might be valid, but that is not the case here.

Sorry but throwing snowballs does not warrant the consideration of deadly force. Apparently, it didn't even warrant arrests in this case.

And Hoosier, no I'm not a in law enforcement, but I have about six friends who are and if any of them drew their weapon over snowballs, I would lose a lot of respect for their judgment and professionalism.

Nichevo said...

Oh, I watched the video. Range close, but just imagining the slips-and-falls among the charging - was worried about an AD from Det. Baylor stumbling around as well. No three-foot snowdrifts, but as I say, it doesn't take much down there. Snow looked suitable for snowballing.

Bwahaha, anarchists, Baylor is black! Have fun getting him in trouble in Washington DC. Did they snowball him because he's black and they're white? Did he perceive it as an affront because HBATW? Is calling him Detective Snowball racist?


Bwahahahaha!

No, Florida or whoever whined about it, without the general ability of police at their discretion to move people along, there is no civilization.

Sigh...wonder how long it will take to learn to find the camera, take the camera, destroy the camera.

Peano said...

"I would like to see one of these Reason magazine dweebs spend a week as a DC cop."

I'd like to see a DC cop spend a week writing for Reason magazine.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

These photos belong on the mantle above the fireplace at Palladian's abode. There isn't a single hippie in the bunch. Or a yippie.

I think I'm starting to understand the false machismo of a certain segment of 1970s disco culture a little bit better.

Almost Ali said...

Youngblood said...
Of course you did. But then again you rant about jackbooted thugs and play internet tough guy...

"Play"? I don't play, not in this context.

Meanwhile, there was only one anarchist at the scene; Detective Snowball, who announced his membership in DC's leading anarchy group. A DCPD groupee, if you will.

The conduct of his subsequent posse was also instructive, given that they were substantially outnumbered should Detective Snowball continue to act out in typical, DC-policing fashion.

Which brings up the larger issue: Did ever ask yourself why the Capital's ruling class surround themselves with jack-boot anarchists? Or why the ruling class has such a high tolerance for so-called "rogue" cops?

And, why are they so resistant to Heller?

Dogwood said...

Did they snowball him because he's black and they're white?

It looked like the snowball throwers who hit Det. Baylor are black (40 second mark), so this is just another sad case of black-on-black violence.

Youngblood said...

"Yeah because cars moving at a snail's pace are highly likely to careen out of control when hit by a couple snowballs."

You're absolutely right. They were just throwing snowballs, what's the harm in that? It's not like they were charging into the middle of a busy intersection in the midst of a snow emergency in an attempt to make an already chaotic situation worse or anything.

I mean, it was just an innocent snowball fight. It's not like curious passersby were being told it was a protest against SUVs or anything, right?

We've all been to snowball fights, right? The anarchist groups who organize them always show up with improvised riot shields and begin baiting police as soon as they arrive (the one black bloc anarchist's shield can be seen throughout the Reason video, you can see a couple more in the crowd shots in the first video I linked). That's just par for the course really. It in no way suggests that political agitators were in the crowd hoping to provoke an incident with the police.

And of course, in preparation for all of the best snowball fights I've ever been to, after making sure we have black bloc agitators and a big banner that reads, "No War But Snowball War" (first video, near the beginning), we come up with snazzy chants like, "Fenty killed Christmas" that we can start cheering after we provoke a police response... er... I mean after the pigs show up a crush us under the jackbooted heel of the police state by telling us to do unreasonable things like move up onto the sidewalk.

Yep. Just an innocent little snowball fight. There's no way that it could possibly have been a calculated attempt by political radicals to provoke the police during a city-wide snow emergency.

Youngblood said...

'Almost Ali' wrote:

"'Play'? I don't play, not in this context."

Sure you do, tough guy. You're on an internet message forum all braggin' about how you're prepared to off the pigs with your neighbors when the revolution comes.

That's practically the dictionary definition of playing.

Joe said...

Well, I'm not a DC cop, but I play one in my dreams, so I know the rules of crowd-management and weapon-brandishing well, and this cop was obviously way outside the rules. The appropriate response to a mob yelling "Fuck you, pig!" is a quiet withdrawal.

Ralph L said...

The people are getting sick of rouge government officials
Especially in the red states.

Chris said...

Please - that's silly.

The hummer was stopped at the stop-light, not moving. He was just mad that they hit is precious hummer.

In what world is it reasonable for a single cop to take on a crowd of that size? In what world would a civilian pulling a gun in the same manner NOT get charged with brandishing? In what world is someone so much of a butt-head that he tries to break up a snowball fight with a gun? Would that have been a reasonable response if it was just a bunch of little kids?

Too many cops take themselves too seriously and think they are "in charge" and can do whatever they'd like.

Reprimand the knuckle-head and give him a desk-job.

Shanna said...

Wow this thread got busy last night!

Clearly, these people weren't kids. They weren't having an innocent snowball fight. They were a bunch of total assholes without the sense to back down when the cops showed. That tells you something about the crowd right there.

As for the hummer, did anyone think it might have been a drug seisure or even a department vehicle? My local police department had a corvette that they drove around for years that was a drug seisure. I imagine with the snow emergency, cops who didnt' have good vehicles for the weather would have been given something. It's going way too far to jump to corruption.

Shanna said...

I'm still not sure he should have pulled his gun, but I think if the crowd hadn't acted aggressive when he told them to back off, he may not have.

Fen said...

Florida: "They work for us, and we demand they be professionals at all times."

And then you turn around and demand how he can afford a hummer and coat.

Fricken priceless.

TRO said...

'Drawing a firearm, even without firing it, is using deadly force. The only excuse for using deadly force is to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm."

This is utter nonsense and a twisting of the definition. Drawing the weapon and pointing it downward with finger off the trigger is not deadly force. Hell, even pointing it at them would not be deadly force. Deadly force is just that - force which could result in death or serious bodily harm. A gun not fired does neither.

TRO said...

Oh as to him owning a Hummer. Lots of people who make far less than that cop own Hummers. It's called discretionary spending and credit. Maybe his wife works,too. Maybe he saved for years to pay for it. Maybe he inherited the money. Or maybe he just got a great deal on a used Hummer.

None of your fricken business any way you figure it.

AshyKnucks said...

Wow, I'm surprised a professor shows so little common sense, and such poor reasoning. I, like many, find it important to show police the proper measure of respect, and have no interest in reprimanding them unless they violate somebody's rights, or, like this officer, show they are entirely unworthy of being entrusted with a deadly weapon. Many of the comments here claim that simply drawing a weapon is not using deadly force, but, as I hope you know, doing so would likely be a complete defense to any charge of assault or even manslaughter if someone in the crowd pulled out their own gun and shot this idiot dead.

Furthermore, your comments regarding the climate at the snowball fight are obscenely myopic. The fact that someone yelled "fuck you pig" after having a weapon drawn on them, is completely irrelevant as to what the atmosphere was like before Baylor showed up. A single video camera doesn't give us an accurate picture of what the climate was like either, and captures sound from those participants standing near the camera, and not those farther away. I saw plenty of laughing, and fun until Baylor pulled his gun. Even after he stopped and disrupted the fight, people in the background were still laughing and having fun, ample evidence that this was not a serious fight (if anyone even can have one of those) but a fun time.

I also find your distinction between "brandished" and "brandished at" a joke, and such rhetoric smacks of somebody making excuses for terribly dangerous and dumb behavior. I don't know whether you've actually ever PRACTICED law, but that distinction would have likely lost a jury for you in a criminal court. Also, I think it's important to note that the officer who responded to the scene arrived with his gun drawn, in anticipation of using deadly force against the gun bearer. From his behavior, the uniformed officer treated a "man with a gun" call as very serious, and as you may or may not know, police don't unholster their guns when they arrive on every scene, but as a precaution when the call dictates deadly force may need to be used.

Also, although I'm sure it snows in Madison, I too have lived in many places where it snows just as much, if not more (Alaska, Vermont, and Buffalo, NY to name a few). I've had my car hit by snowballs before, and unlike your assertion that the average person becomes a nervous wreck prompting them to drive too dangerously for the conditions, I, just as most, assumed my car was getting hit by kids throwing snowballs, and simply kept on driving through the area until the snowball throwing subsided.

The bottom line is that anyone who is entrusted with a deadly weapon for use in the course of their job should use it with the utmost care. Officer Baylor demonstrated his inability to use the discretion required of someone entrusted with a deadly weapon, and should be dismissed from the force.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The biggest hilarity in this entire thread is the idiots who are defending the anarchists by citing that the victims should play by the "rule of law".

Ha ha ha. Seriously?

Chef Mojo said...

District of Columbia Code § 22-405

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term "law enforcement officer" means any officer or member of any police force operating and authorized to act in the District of Columbia, including any reserve officer or designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department, any licensed special police officer, any officer or member of any fire department operating in the District of Columbia, any officer or employee of any penal or correctional institution of the District of Columbia, any officer or employee of the government of the District of Columbia charged with the supervision of juveniles being confined pursuant to law in any facility of the District of Columbia regardless of whether such institution or facility is located within the District, any investigator or code inspector employed by the government of the District of Columbia, or any officer or employee of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, the Social Services Division of the Superior Court, or Pretrial Services Agency charged with intake, assessment, or community supervision.

(b) Whoever without justifiable and excusable cause, assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, intimidates, or interferes with a law enforcement officer on account of, or while that law enforcement officer is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned not more than 180 days or fined not more than $1,000, or both.

(c) A person who violates subsection (b) of this section and causes significant bodily injury to the law enforcement officer, or commits a violent act that creates a grave risk of causing significant bodily injury to the officer, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years or fined not more than $10,000, or both.

(d) It is neither justifiable nor excusable cause for a person to use force to resist an arrest when such an arrest is made by an individual he or she has reason to believe is a law enforcement officer, whether or not such arrest is lawful.

Chef Mojo said...

District of Columbia Code § 22-1308

It shall not be lawful for any person or persons within the District of Columbia to congregate and assemble in any street, avenue, alley, road, or highway, or in or around any public building or inclosure, or any park or reservation, or at the entrance of any private building or inclosure, and engage in loud and boisterous talking or other disorderly conduct, or to insult or make rude or obscene gestures or comments or observations on persons passing by, or in their hearing, or to crowd, obstruct, or incommode, the free use of any such street, avenue, alley, road, highway, or any of the foot pavements thereof, or the free entrance into any public or private building or inclosure; it shall not be lawful for any person or persons to curse, swear, or make use of any profane language or indecent or obscene words, or engage in any disorderly conduct in any street, avenue, alley, road, highway, public park or inclosure, public building, church, or assembly room, or in any other public place, or in any place wherefrom the same may be heard in any street, avenue, alley, road, highway, public park or inclosure, or other building, or in any premises other than those where the offense was committed, under a penalty of not more than $250 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both for each and every such offense.

District of Columbia Code § 22-1308

It shall not be lawful for any person or persons to play the game of football, or any other game with a ball, in any of the streets, avenues, or alleys in the City of Washington; nor shall it be lawful for any person or persons to play the game of bandy, shindy, or any other game by which a ball, stone, or other substance is struck or propelled by any stick, cane, or other substance in any street, avenue, or alley in the City of Washington, under a penalty of not more than $5 for each and every such offense.

District of Columbia Code § 22-1309.

It shall not be lawful for any person or persons within the District of Columbia to throw any stone or other missile in any street, avenue, alley, road, or highway, or open space, or public square, or inclosure, or to throw any stone or other missile from any place into any street, avenue, road, or highway, alley, open space, public square, or inclosure, under a penalty of not more than $500 for every such offense.

Dennis said...

He pulled his pistol out of anger, not self defense. He lost his cool and should be punished for his poor judgment. He was way out of line.

Chef Mojo said...

Folks, look at the DC code cites. Det. Baylor was in the midst of clearly unlawful activity. The snowballers were there to intentionally break the law, and they knew it. Hence the term "guerilla snowball fight."

This is example of DC guerilla art at its most provocative. The intention of guerilla artists is to disrupt, confront authority and "reclaim the streets." This was political street art. It had an agenda. This is fairly common in DC, which has a rather large guerilla gardening movement, which seeks to plant in areas in violation of people's property rights.

Regardless of your views on arts & politics, the snowballers were in clear violation of DC Code, and were thus subject to the law. In addition, this was during a city emergency.

I'm still coming down on the side of the cop.

kentuckyliz said...

What you're missing: the mob messed with this guy, up close and personal, before they realized he was a cop. He probably announced it but they were yelling and chanting.

It's before the video begins: the mob is backing away from him as the video begins, and he's picking up his radio and cell phone out of the snow--because the mob messed with him.

A lone black cop protecting himself against a crowd of angry white kids, and him holding his gun (pointed down, not at people) got the job done--they backed off and got out of the street, back to the sidewalk.

So you think it's OK for angry white college kids to assault vehicles and people with impunity?

They're just lucky it wasn't a gangbanger. BOOM. Red snow.

They weren't playing. The possibility of escalation to violence is always there with envirowacko proest mobs--GTO Seattle, Copenhagen. Duh.

Amazing how the white kids started behaving when the white cops showed up.

I think Obama should have a Hot Cocoa Summit with the white kids and encourage them to show the same respeck to African American law enforcement officers.

Chef Mojo said...

@ mariner

I'm sorry. I'm confused now. Did this incident happen in Virginia?

What the hell does the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia have to do with in incident in the District of Columbia?

Find me the legal definition of "brandishing" in DC, and get back to me.

@ Florida

Checkmate? I don't think so. And you're still a scumsuck for your allegations of corruption.

Kev said...

Florida: "They work for us, and we demand they be professionals at all times."

And then you turn around and demand how he can afford a hummer and coat.

Fricken priceless.


But aren't publics servants actually here to serve the public, not to get wealthy off our tax dollars?

(And I'm not saying that only wealthy people drive Hummers, just that a lot of non-wealthy people couldn't afford them no matter how much they use "discretionary spending and credit." And the Hummer is a pretty polarizing vehicle, as evidenced by the supposed reason for the snowball fight in the first place. Some people see them as the devil's vehicle, with its supposed ginormous "carbon footprint" and all, while others use them as a status symbol.)

It's amazing how this thread is sort of a Bizarro World for me--I find myself agreeing with people I almost never agree with on this blog, and vice versa.

Kev said...

Sorry--that should be public servants, not "publics" (which I believe would be a misspelling of a supermarket chain).

Almost Ali said...

Summing up:

WestOrlandoNews: "A Washington D.C. plain clothes police detective went nuts after his Hummer was pelted with snowballs by persons having a friendly snowball fight, following a record-breaking snowstorm on Saturday. Getting out of his car, the detective grabbed his gun brandishing it before the youngsters who were just having fun and turning a festive mood." -- http://westorlandonews.com/tag/detective-baylor/

Key words: Went. Nuts.

Almost Ali said...

Lie first, deny later:

NBC: ...MPD claims the footage does not show the detective drawing his weapon, but they have since received additional images and statements that would seem to support that allegation.

According to 3D Commander George Kusik, the uniformed officer conducted himself appropriately.

The incident between the detective and the snowball-throwing crowd is still under investigation by internal affairs and an officer has been placed on non-contact duty. -- http://www.nbcwashington.com/weather/stories/Eyewitness_Confirms__Cop_Freaks_Out_Over_Snowball_Fight_Waves_Gun-79729162.html

Peano said...

From the Washington Post, 12/21/09:

If the final investigation shows the officer pulled his weapon after being pelted with snowballs, D.C. Assistant Chief Pete Newsham, head of the investigative services bureau, said that "would not be a situation in which a member [of the force] would be justified."

Chef Mojo said...

@ Almost Ali

That's fucking hilarious! You cite the Washington City Paper, a far left weekly rag that never met a protest it didn't approve of enthusiastically, whether lawful or not.

Once again, you're perpetuating the big lie; that this was an innocent snowball fight, and not a political action meant to provoke a response.

If after all the links posted here showing the political nature of the event, and the DC Code setting out that the snowballers were breaking the law, then you prove yourself to be a rather unserious child.

Andrea said...

And he cited a ranty blog post on a site calling itself "The West Orlando News" (as if calling a website "Something News" made it more authoritative than a regular old blog site), which is based in Orlando, Florida, where people aren't exactly known for their expertise in snow emergencies and snowball fights. It also seems to be based in Pine Hills, a neighborhood in Orlando which is not exactly known for being cop-friendly.

Almost Ali said...

Chef Mojo said...
That's fucking hilarious!

It is?

Meanwhile, D.C. Assistant Chief Pete Newsham failed to see the humor - probably too long away from the jungle.

As for Detective Snowball, his Hummer done him in. Lucky for bystanders it wasn't a hailstorm.

Shanna said...

Furthermore, your comments regarding the climate at the snowball fight are obscenely myopic. The fact that someone yelled "fuck you pig" after having a weapon drawn on them, is completely irrelevant as to what the atmosphere was like before Baylor showed up. A single video camera doesn't give us an accurate picture of what the climate was like either, and captures sound from those participants standing near the camera, and not those farther away. I saw plenty of laughing, and fun until Baylor pulled his gun.

They weren’t having a playful snowball fight, they were throwing snowballs at passing cars in bad weather. The fact that they, despite being adults, thought that was funny shows what a bunch of jerks they were, not that the atmosphere was decent.

Not that the cop should necessarily have pulled his weapon, but I think you could at least make an argument that it was a judgement call.

Chef Mojo said...

Almost Ali,

Please reread Newsham's statement. Notice that first little word there?

"if."

And there are two other words, but they're bigger.

"final investigation."

Now, follow closely, because he's not saying what you think he's saying.

And yes, citing the City Paper in any matter other than movie and concert times is pretty fucking hilarious. It's a leftwing, weekly, free rag that wouldn't know how not to spin this in favor of the snowballers and against the cops. It's just what they are.

But, here again, the media is going to be happy to assist you in perpetuating the big lie that this was an innocent snowball fight and not a political action meant to provoke a response.

The evidence is there of that. But you're not interested in that, are you? Doesn't fit your narrative.

Chef Mojo said...

Almost Ali,

Why do you and others here and elsewhere keep focusing on the Hummer? Do you believe owners or users of certain vehicles should be singled out for abuse, assault or worse? Does that extend to private jets and limousines? Really, Ali, where do you draw the line? Do you agree with Florida that Baylor is presumed a corrupt cop because he has the audacity to drive a Hummer?

The other night, I saw quite a few Hummers out there on Virginia roads helping people in need. Pulling vehicles out of snowbanks and ditches. Ferrying the sick to hospitals and getting people safely home. These people volunteered. They weren't paid by the state. They had a tool at their disposal and they used it to help their fellows.

When you're in a disaster area, you really tend not to concern yourself with mythical carbon footprints.

Youngblood said...

"The hummer was stopped at the stop-light, not moving. He was just mad that they hit is precious hummer."

You were there? Or is there a video that shows what happened before Detective Baylor got out of his vehicle? I've watched a bunch of videos from the event at this point, and none show what actually happened leading up to Detective Baylor's exit from his vehicle and what, specifically happened to make him draw his gun.

"In what world is it reasonable for a single cop to take on a crowd of that size? In what world would a civilian pulling a gun in the same manner NOT get charged with brandishing? In what world is someone so much of a butt-head that he tries to break up a snowball fight with a gun? Would that have been a reasonable response if it was just a bunch of little kids?"

But they weren't little kids.

C'mon, let's dispense with the bullshit claim that this was an innocent snowball fight, shall we? I've been to snowball fights myself. I don't remember black bloc anarchists in attendance at any of them, at least not in full "smash the state" regalia (black face masks, homemade riot shields, black flags on poles that can be easily weaponized).

Let's be clear here: every big city cop in the Western world knows what black bloc anarchists look like and knows that there's invariably trouble when they're around. Black bloc anarchists are the ones who smash windows, flip over cars and set them on fire, and hurl bricks at police officers.

Even so, he wasn't confronting the crowd alone. Far from waving his gun around or menacing the crowd, we first see him with his weapon drawn by the side of his car calling for backup on his radio. He maintains his composure and avoids confronting the crowd even as one of the protestors hits him in the face with a snowball.

It's not until the uniformed officers arrive that he actually approaches the protestors. (Note that some of the protestors attempt to bait the uniformed cops as soon as they arrive!)

"Too many cops take themselves too seriously and think they are 'in charge' and can do whatever they'd like."

But he doesn't do anything even remotely like that, at least not in any of the clips I've come across. The big bad rogue cop who thinks he can do whatever he'd like is seen calling for backup and standing by the side of his car.

He doesn't wave his gun around. He doesn't confront the crowd. As a snowball hits him directly in the fucking face, he maintains his composure and keeps his distance.

"Reprimand the knuckle-head and give him a desk-job."

He won't get more than the most token slap on the wrist. Nor should he.

Youngblood said...

Chief Mojo wrote:

"Why do you and others here and elsewhere keep focusing on the Hummer?"

Because hummers are environmental terrorism, man! And they're the ultimate symbol of American aggression and militarism! Can't you see man, it's a gas-guzzling civilian car based on a military vehicle!

No wonder a jackbooted thug like Detective Snowball would tool around in one of those!

Almost Ali said...

Chief MoJo:

Additional videos show the crowd, apparently teenagers, in a festive mood. Until Detective Snowball showed up and brandished a gun.

Videos (via CBS local) also show the uniformed officer's arrival on the (crime?) scene; he immediately drew his weapon and approached what he rightly percieved to be the threat, not the crowd, but Detective Snowball. At which time Alias Snowball identified himself as a duly authorized killer to avoid a shootout.

Now kindly stop buggin' me.

Almost Ali said...

Chief MoJo:

It's not the Hummer per se, it's the [un]civil servant driving it. Because Hummer and detective don't fit. Unless he's on the take, which explains the Hummer.

Of course, he may work overtime, you know, undercover. Come to think of it, he may have several Hummers. And an Escalade. Or two. He may even be Marion Barry's supplier. Of Escaladed Hummers.

Chef Mojo said...

Oh, Ali. You're just too easy.

Bugging you, am I? You thin skinned little bitch.

Additional videos show the crowd, apparently teenagers, in a festive mood.

Of course, your definition of "festive" includes obstructing traffic during a snow emergency, pelting objectionable vehicles with snowballs and outright assault of a law officer, all while breaking the laws of the District of Columbia. Read the code I cited, moron. You may not like the law, but it is the law.

"Festive" must mean the presence of black bloc anarchists, who were there, of course, just for the fun of it!

To you, "festive" must mean the guerilla arts community who were putting this on for the sole purpose of making a political statement and provoking a response.

Ali, you are an ignorant sap or a willing tool. Not sure which, but both are equally idiotic.

Until you are able to acknowledge the political nature of this event, you continue be a child, and worthy of continued mocking.

Or bugging, as the case may be.

Almost Ali said...

Chief MoJo:

I see, the anarchists KNEW he was coming.

Now, why didn't I think of that.

Chef Mojo said...

Ali, do a little research, ok dearie.

Here's your homework. What do MPD detectives make? How much are used Hummers?

Oh. Wait. I'm trying to attempt a logical exercise on a complete idiot. Nevermind.

In the meantime, the fact that you've joined Florida in the corner dry humping each other over your fantasies of corrupt DC cops shows you to be far worse than an idiot. You are a scabby slug feeding on your mother's afterbirth, and worth about as much consideration.

Lyle said...

I with Althouse on this, but for the cop pulling his gone out. There was no need for that.

Rick said...

Obviously Officer Baylor was guilty of racial profiling and acting stupidly. Time for a beer.

Almost Ali said...

Here, watch the "angry" anarchists for yourself: http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/crimesider/main504083.shtml?keyword=detective+baylor

Note the arrival of the uniformed officer; watch how he approaches the threat - not the crowd, but Detective Killer Snowball.

Chef Mojo said...

I see, the anarchists KNEW he was coming.

You silly, brainless twat, the anarchists were counting on him or other law enforcement to show up.

Really, what part of "provoking a response," isn't getting through to your pea brain?

Almost Ali said...

Uh, watch the video, Chief.

Chef Mojo said...

Note the arrival of the uniformed officer; watch how he approaches the threat - not the crowd, but Detective Killer Snowball.

Oh, Ali! You're killing me here!

See, what's happened is one or more of the mob have called 911 bleating about the black man with the gun. Not, mind you, a cop with a gun. The first cops on the scene are responding to a 911 call, not as backup. Regardless, the uniformed cops are not taking any chances. Once Baylor identifies himself, what do they do? They move to the mob, which is now the obvious threat. Notice something else?They've all got their hands on their sidearms.

Is that the best you've got?

Almost Ali said...

Oh, Ali! You're killing me here!

Relax, they're only snowballs.

Almost Ali said...

Detective Snowball can't catch a break:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Washington's police chief criticized a veteran detective Monday for pulling a gun during a mass snowball fight. Authorities said the officer is on desk duty while the case is under investigation.

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said she had watched video clips from the weekend confrontation and has no doubt that the off-duty officer pulled his gun after snowballs hit his personal vehicle during Saturday's 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. "In no way should he have handled the situation in this manner." -- http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9CNSN0O0&show_article=1

Youngblood said...

"Detective Snowball can't catch a break:"

Nah.

He'll be just fine. The investigators will take a look at all of the videos out there (not just the Reason ones), come to the reasonable and obvious conclusion that the event was staged by wannabe radicals who wanted to start some shit, and then send him to some classes.

Nomilk said...

I know that I'm late to this party, but Althouse hit this one right out of Nationals Park. If I had been at 14th and U, I would have moved up the block to Ben's Chili Bowl and had a chili half-smoke and not hassled some police.

Peano said...

Full statement from the D.C. chief of police:

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.

This officer’s conduct, in no way, reflects the training and the standards we hold each officer to at the Metropolitan Police Department. During the course of this horrendous snow storm, our officers worked hard and made many significant arrests for drug and burglary crimes, as well as gun recoveries. What is so disturbing is that, up until this incident, I had received several messages of thanks from the many people our officers assisted when their cars became disabled in the blizzard conditions. So it does not sit well with me that the negative actions of one officer has become “viral” during a time when so many officers have done so much good.

I can assure you that we do take this matter very seriously and will handle it appropriately.

The video clips and the number of witnesses willing to come forward have proven a point I have reiterated, you are the additional eyes and ears in the community and your feedback in solving criminal complaints are crucial.

My office is receptive to this kind of information. I encourage all residents to remain active in our fight against crime and to know that at MPD, we believe no one is above the law.

Cathy L. Lanier Chief of Police

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