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D.C. police union blasts Lanier's comments on snowball cop

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier released a statement Monday strongly condemning the actions of Detective Michael Baylor, who pulled his service revolver out Saturday afternoon after his car was hit with snowballs from a mass snowball fight at 14th and U Streets NW.

Kristopher Baumann, who heads the D.C. Labor Committee for the local Fraternal Order of Police, said the chief's response was inappropriate because it was premature and catered to public opinion. Baumann said he was reserving comment on the matter because the investigation was underway and doesn't know and hasn't seen all the facts. Baylor told the Post he had not yet been interviewed by internal affairs detectives.


"A news story comes out and the chief says what she think will assuage the public on an issue," Baumann said. "She's supposed to be the chief of police, not a politician. What she should say is 'We have been notified of the matter and we will investigate.'

Baumann said Baylor has reached out to the union and would have representation during the department investigation.

--Theola Labbé-DeBose

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  December 22, 2009; 12:53 PM ET
Categories:  The District , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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Comments

Seems the Police Chiefs’ comments were most appropriate. She has stated the obvious, since, The entire incident was Filmed.

Baylor was out of control – if you pull a gun, your planning on shooting people, maybe all the kids with snowballs?

The Union seems mad because they have yet to realize the standard and usual cover-up and whitewash isn’t going to cut it this time.

Baylor needs to relax and spend his final years in parking enforcement or janitorial w/o any weapons.

Posted by: UnitedStatesofAmerica | December 22, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Both Lanier and Fenty are douchbags, they deserve each other. She should have condemned the snottie little brats that started the ruckus in the first place. These brats felt entitled to throw snow balls at people and cars that did not want to be involved. They should go to jail for assault.

Posted by: tmi1 | December 22, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Ok--why are grownups throwing snowballs at passing vehicles on a main street or any street for that matter?

Why was this planned on Twitter ahead of time?

Some folks are saying it's not a crime to throw snowballs, isn't it a crime to insight a riot? What they did was RISKLESS!

Do you know how much of a distraction that can be? What if someone lost control of their vehicle and hit one of you damn asses. That was just STUPID. Now the media is going to report this forever. What some folks do for attention.

All of you who had your faces covered--what was that all about?

Posted by: mamabj | December 22, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

The cop couldn't start by pulling out his badge? What's next? Shoot some poor schmuck who steals a few plants? Kill a mayor's dogs when he and his wife a mistakenly id'd a drug dealers? Oh wait... that already happened.

Posted by: tysonsara1 | December 22, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm so tired of reading peoples comments about "Snottie Yuppies","committing Assault", and the like.

If the fun havers were so at fault how come none of them have been charged? How come the only person under investigation is the cop?

Anybody read about the huge snowball fight that they had in Times Square? How come all those people were arrested? They were committing assault!

Get over it. Throwing snowballs at people who don't wanna have snowballs thrown at them might technically be assault, but if your gonna press charges over you, you're the b!tch in the situation.

Watch the videos. The cop wasn't trying to investigate "assaults". he wasn't breaking up a mob. He was threatening people who threw snowballs at him with a gun. Fine, the snowball throwers were in the wrong. But that doesn't automatically make the cop in the right. All these articles aren't about twenty-somethings engaging in juvenile and questionably irresponsible behavior, they're about a Cop pulling his gun on unarmed people who unquestionably intended no malice, more than popping some cars and people w/ snowballs.

Posted by: JoeMck | December 22, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Bringing a gun to a snowball fight seems like an excessive use of force maybe that is what the Chief is thinking.

Posted by: lised | December 22, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Nothing will happen to Det. Baylor, nor should it. A bunch of non working baby's out looking to cause trouble. Now they cry to get more attention. Did anyone notice the little ugly girl carrying a drum? Or the others with signs? Get over it and get a job.

Posted by: gpl2411 | December 22, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

The DC Police union should take a lesson from the NY EMT union. When it became public that 2 EMTs stood by and allowed a woman to die because they were on a break, the union issued a statement saying that they do not condone behavior that places the lives of the public in jeopardy.

Det. Baylor is on tape saying out of his own mouth that he pulled his gun because snowballs were thrown at his vehicle. What evidence does the union need to say that behavior is unacceptable? The Chief spoke the truth. The union damages the image of all of its officers by failing to acknowledge the way Baylor violated the public trust.

Posted by: loved1 | December 23, 2009 4:38 AM | Report abuse

Lanier is a bleeding heart liberal first, and Chief of Police second. She doesn't have the instinct or the intestinal fortitude to back a fellow officer..

Posted by: wewinyoulose | December 23, 2009 6:00 AM | Report abuse

The comments supporting Baylor are atypical of cops suckling on the Union Teat.

Baylor is psychologically "off kilter" and should not have protections under the Police *OR* Union.

What would the outcome be were it a civilian that did this? I expect the same outcome here, but don't see it happening unless Lanier shows some grapes.

The cop should be stripped of his police powers, desked during the investigation, and proper punishment meted out to ALL that deserve it-not just the cop. I'm sure a couple of charges need to be levied at the individuals that continued throwing after a certain point-harrassment? Assault? (that's kind of stretching it, but...)

It's a sad commentary...as a boy I admired the police, for they really did "protect and serve".

Nowadays they only "protect" their own interests, and "serve" only to collect a check so they can afford their Union Dues and GI Joe baubles.

Posted by: frdbrkl1 | December 23, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Lanier is a bleeding heart liberal first, and Chief of Police second. She doesn't have the instinct or the intestinal fortitude to back a fellow officer..

Posted by: wewinyoulose
--------------------------------

By that idiotic statement, she should have backed the officer that participated in the Armed Robbery and Murder 2 weeks ago too? She shouldn't back dirty, rouge or stupid cops....PERIOD! The Det. saw what was happening, witnessed other vehicles drive thru and get hit with Snowballs, so what the hell did he think was gonna happen to his "TANK"?? What was he gonna do shoot everyone there?

Posted by: usc932000 | December 23, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Good job Union for allowing all the info facts to come out before you judge. The Chief should have done the same. A 27 yr veteran who has served DC for years deserves at least a fair chance.

Posted by: mksmith1704 | December 23, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

This is a very serious incident that could have gone bad on both ends, however; I believe the Union responded to the press involving this incident much mature than the Police Chief Lanier.

Regardless of the serious offense on either side, you have to consider that everyone involved in this incident (the detective, and snow ball throwers) are innocent until the outcome of a clear and fair investigation of this sort of incident.

To make any comments about one or the other without clearly analyzing the evidence in an opportunity to conduct an investigation only biases the chance of the detective being cleared after review of such evidence. Most important are the aggravating factors involving the parties involved in such incident.

What if this snowball fight amounted to cars crashing into others that caused injury or death. Would the public care about the dectectives actions or of the actions of the snowball throwers who decided to have "dangerous" fun with the lives of other pedestrians.

Clearly, I would have jumped in the defense of the officer for I travel that intersection and it is entirely too busy with cars going in all directions at all times. To be throwing snowballs during this kind of traffic is equall to throwing rocks at cars while driving. It obstructs a persons view badly enough to cause and accident that would lead to injury or death.

Now flip the coin; What if the police officer's gun frightened a snowball thrower enough to run into traffic in a manner to get away from the seen and caused a fatality involving a person being hit by cars?

What if the detectives gun accidentally ejects a bullet at anyone while aiming at these snowball throwers and injures/kills one of them or an innocent bystander?

Now my look on the officer pulling his gun on these snowball throwers's is one of negativity.

To be clear, the end result of all actions by the parties could have been chaotic in which the officer can argue that he used the necessary force to prevent imminent danger to the general public and the snowballer thrower's will claim excessive force was used, however; no one should rush to judge anyone or comment on anything until a full and fair investigation has taken place.

This city has had enough issues with rushing to judgement in which comments from the public officials ended up overturned in court in which material facts were left out of the publics view. One case was the Jaunita Jacks case.

In that case, the public was looking for someone to blame and it wound up on the Caseworkers and social workers at the Child and Family Services Agency. The mayor called for the handlers of this case to be fired. However; after all of the material evidence was submitted; the workers were exonerated due to evidence that clearly vindicated their actions.

Therefore, I urge our city officials to be slow to judge your workforce.

Posted by: ChristopherHawthorne | December 23, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

The Detective broke the fundimental rule that anybody who carries lethal force must follow. The gun does not come out until life, and in some cases property, is at stake.

He was right to try to stop the snowball fight, but threatening to shoot people is not the way to do it. It is clear that nobody's life was threatened, until he pulled out his weapon.

It will be interesting for people like the Detective has to deal with armed citizens after Palmer v DC comes down in 2010. Will he pull a gun if he sees a Virginian packing on the east side of the Potomac?

Posted by: GHF_LRLTD | December 23, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

What if, what if. What if a snowball had somehow hit a vulnerable section of the Hummer's underside, causing a massive explosion that would have leveled the entire Shaw area? What if the snowball throwers had decided to run to the White House, destroying everything in their path and engaging in hand-to-hand combat with the Secret Service? What if the cop had an AK-47 instead of a pistol? What if he had started shooting and hit an innocent pregnant woman, killing her and all five of her unborn quintuplets? Or Nancy Pelosi who happened to be driving past in the other direction? This gets us nowhere.

This wasn't a mini-riot, this wasn't assault. This is a simple case of a cop overreacting to people throwing snowballs at his car. The cop was wrong. The snowball-throwers may have been wrong as well, but that wrong is not nearly as serious as a cop threatening unarmed snowball-throwers with a weapon.

Posted by: usemark1 | December 23, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The actions of the detective were disproportionate and seems to prove how much some cops in the US are out of touch with the public. The Union need to remember who is paying your wages.
Policing is best when it is with the understanding, consent and cooperation of the public you police. You are not an occupying army...you are a civilian police service.
It was a snowball fight, so get a sense of humour.

Posted by: Ajay999 | December 24, 2009 5:39 AM | Report abuse

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