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Officer who pulled gun at snowball fight a veteran detective: Sources

The D.C. police officer who pulled out his weapon during a Saturday snowball fight at 14th and U streets NW is a veteran detective with more than two decades on the force, police sources said.

Detective Michael Baylor has been put on desk duty pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident, which made national news after video was posted on YouTube. Video footage shows Baylor, who was in plainclothes and off duty, drawing his gun and exchanging angry words with a crowd after his Hummer was pelted with snowballs.

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier Monday issued a statement to the community saying she watched the footage and it is "obvious" that the detective pulled his weapon in response to thrown snowballs hitting his Hummer.

“Let me be very clear in stating that I believe the actions of the officer were totally inappropriate!,” Lanier wrote in her statement. “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.”

A detective who answered the phone Monday at the second district police station, where Baylor works, said Baylor had the day off. Baylor did not immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment.

Police officials said hundreds of D.C. officers braved the snow to direct traffic and help stranded drivers and they are disappointed this incident tarnished that good work.

"It paints a negative image of the Metropolitan Police Department," Peter Newsham, an assistant police chief, told reporters Monday. "That's not the way we're taught to act."

-- Maria Glod, Theola Labbé-DeBose and Matt Zapotosky


By Maria Glod  |  December 21, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Maria Glod , Matt Zapotosky , The District , Theola Labbé-DeBose , Updates  
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Comments

he's Frosty the Hitman....

Posted by: pdogglimhotmailcom | December 21, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The actions of the Detective were totally out of line. I'm glad to see the Department taking such a swift and strong mannor in the handeling of this negligent act. This could have gone really bad very quickly. After twenty years on the force, he should have known better and reacted differently, if he reacted at all.

Posted by: bradj60 | December 21, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Video posted here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/21/snowball-fight-gun-drawn-_n_399086.html

And what about those other cops who were standing around like loaves of bread while the cop with the gun escalated the situation? Shouldn't they be reprimanded,too?

Posted by: trace1 | December 21, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The weather outside sure is frightful!

Posted by: trace1 | December 21, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Simply contrasting the hair-trigger actions of Detective Baylor in his big fancy hummer (and I agree, how does he afford to drive around in an overpriced gas guzzler and what sort of image does he think that conveys to the community?) with the much calmer, more rational actions of the uniformed officers tells the whole story here. Sure, it can be dangerous to throw snowballs at folks in cars, but pulling a weapon only intensifies rather than defuses the situation. I think maybe it's time the detective took a long vacation, if he's that stressed out that a perceived "dis" to his personal automobile is going to provoke this kind of disturbing response. I'd certainly flinch if I saw him responding to any call where I was a victim. I'm just glad the police chief realizes what a black eye these sorts of incidents give Washington, DC police in the eyes of the country and the world. Many of the cops are good dedicated people and don't deserve to suffer over the egotistical actions of a few.

Posted by: PandaSneeze | December 21, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse


The detective should not have pulled out his gun AND the people participating in the snowball fight have NO business pelting strangers with snowballs.

Posted by: martinalandau | December 21, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention. See how out of touch with reality the snowballers are? When someone pulls a gun on you, assume you are going to be shot. Don't argue ... RUN!

Posted by: bowmanc1 | December 21, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh MY, the glorious People in Blue are here to Protect and Serve! Yeah Right, that's the other bad apple falling off the tree! Whether they are helping the criminals or using very aggressive behavior, DC Police have some serious "House Cleaning" that needs to be done! My thoughts its starts with the Chief, mind you now I've always been a big fan of hers too. Although, she is Human the Chief tarnished the force long ago by Protecting Councilmen Adrian Fenty for his dirty deeds! Now if she came forward and made amends to the People of DC for her bad deeds then just may be the rank and file will finally start the cleansing!

Posted by: ifordc | December 21, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"It paints a negative image of the Metropolitan Police Department," Peter Newsham, an assistant police chief, told reporters Monday. "That's not the way we're taught to act."
-------------
This clown lied about the incident when questioned over the weekend.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | December 21, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I'd be so angry that I'd pull over, duck behind my car, stockpile 15 or 20 snowballs, and launch an attack. Who knows? I might be able to coerce bystanders to join in on my team. Could be a heck of a lot of fun! (And good P.R. for the police)

Posted by: senrabe | December 21, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Never take a snowball to a gun fight.

If snowballs are outlawed, only outlaws will have snowballs.

Snowballs don't hit people, people hit people.

Posted by: sillygatboy | December 21, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Next time a Detective calls for Backup to a scene at 14th & U & the crowd is mostly white making the offense, I want people to take note on how long it is before MPD arrests anyone.

If the MOB had been colored or in any other section of the city, billy clubs would have been drawn & some heads would have rolled into some Paddy wagons.

The Mob's activity on the Video which is a CRIME in this city CANNOT be tolerated. Why didn't these people do this "activity" in a Park? Who organized it? Why haven't the organizers been arrested? Why is the only one being labeled for a crime is the Police Officer whose vehicle was hit by the flying snow/iceballs. Had any damages been done to METROBUS, bystanders or Bizness Property owners then Capt Lanier would have more items to address.

I commend officer Baylor. for trying to get a handle on the situation when he was but one officer who tried to stop a CRIME.
Capt Lanier you need to get your head out of your arse and begin to protect the public who is being damaged by hooligans.

Whom do you serve?

Posted by: digtldesk | December 21, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Detective Baylor should not be carrying a gun. After 20 years of police work he gets out of his car and pulls a gun when his unmarked SUV is hit with a snowball? This man is some kind of throwback to a Barry era of police work in the city when blustering fools with big egos became big policeman and not anyone who has a shred of common sense or intelligence. When he admitted to pulling his gun because his car was hit by a snowball I knew he was crazy. And he carries a gun for the city. That stinks.

Posted by: steven7753 | December 21, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Officer may have overreacted but the disrespect shown by some members of the crowd after he ID'd himself as a police officer did nothing to help the situation.

The guy in the black facemask who kept dropping the F-bomb and referring to the officer as a pig is a complete idiot. I'd shed no tears for him getting man-handled.

No one is clearly in the right here - I applaud the additional responding cops who did their best to diffuse the situation. Anyone over the age of 10 who thinks it's OK to pelt passing motorists w/ snow & ice balls is an idiot. Chances are, you won't be confronted by a police officer about this. But when you are, remove your head from your a__ and show some respect - and then everyone can go about their day.

Posted by: doordeduke | December 21, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank god this snowball fight wasn't on the corners of Benning road and East capitol. No doubt if a bunch of black kids were having a snowball fight, all of them would of been arrested for assault and battery!!! I do agree, the cop should of not pulled out his gun, but the good thing, nobody got hurt.

Posted by: Papasp8@yahoo.com | December 21, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Is it definitely innappropriate? Officers regularly carry guns off duty and are expected to behave in the same manner when off duty, including the use of force for protection when there is a threat against themselves or others. They are trained to pull their guns in the face of a threat. Snowballs hurt like hell and therefore can be considered a weapon. I've seen them doing it in response to domestic calls before even entering the home. If he felt threatened, I think he should have been able to pull his gun and say, "Police, hold it..." In the video you could see he was being cautious when he did it.

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | December 21, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I think the question you need to ask: Did they call him a pig because he was a police officer or because he was driving a Hummer?

If it's because he's cop, the remark was unjustified (at least until he pulled his piece). If it's because he was driving one of the most gas guzzling, obnoxious vehicles on the road today, then I feel the crowd had a good point. And why is DC wasting its money on such an environmental nightmare as a Hummer? That's a great question!

But, seriously, what kind of idiot escalates a snowball fight into a gun fight in the middle of Murder City? What, he doesn't think anyone else on the street is carrying?

Detective Baylor is very lucky nobody pulled out their RPG laucher (the preferred device for dealing with Hummers, I hear)!

Posted by: JC505 | December 21, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The idiots who organized and participated in this sophomoric snowball fight should be arrested. The cop was certainly out of line, but these bed-wetters caused a huge scene and a distraction for the city in the midst of a major, dangerous snow storm. Makes me proud to see 20- and 30-somethings throwing snowballs like 10-year-olds in a major intersection - at each other, at random passers-by and at moving vehicles. Oh, so fun and spontaneous! Too bad that idiot in the ski mask didn't get spontaneously popped in the mouth. Irresponsible whiner. Let me guess, you played in a Little League that didn't allow scores to be kept so that no ones' feelings were hurt. Guess what. You're a loser.

Posted by: TroyOLeary | December 21, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I would imagine that this kind of behaviour would earn detective Bailey a promotion.

Regardless, you know the man is getting mad props from his fellow pigs.

Posted by: dmls2000 | December 21, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

squeeeeeel piggy squeeeeel. No presents for you this year!

Posted by: johng1 | December 21, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

A snowball fight of that size ,held in an intersection is a major safety hazard.Pelting a person or someone's car with a snowball is illegal ,extremely dangerous and could have caused property damage or bodily harm.This officer was hit by snowballs even after he identified his self as an officer.The complete disregard for the safety of the drivers and pedestrians and of a law enforcement officer should not be ignored.This was a large group that was not complying with the request of an officer.He pulled his gun.An over-reaction?To some -maybe,but this crowd was defiant , comitting assault,obstructing justice and could have caused a car accident or bodily harm.This needs to be looked at from all views.

Posted by: danny857 | December 21, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Okay Sister Mary Danny857

Posted by: johng1 | December 21, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

He was being hit in the face with iceballs after it was clear he was a cop. The crowd was completely out of line and was creating a very dangerous situations for drivers who were already struggling to stay on an icy road. They took emergency resources away from accidents and other real emergencies. Shame oeveryoen in that crowd and all the people defending their actions baiting and screaming at the men who protect us everyday.

Posted by: roteki | December 21, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"He was being hit in the face with iceballs after it was clear he was a cop. "

-------------

No he was not.

Posted by: johng1 | December 21, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

People should not be throwing snowballs at passing cars. This is the real danger whether is an off duty police officer or mother with infants, it's dangerous and illegal. A mother served three years in jail for throwing a drink from one moving car into another on the beltway so what do the Snow Ballers get for attacking moving vehicles??? Are we to allow people to throw snowballs at cars from overhead ramps? Keep your snowballs between friends and away from Moving vehicles or you deserve Jail time!

Posted by: liveride | December 21, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

settle down everyone. treat liberal law enforcement officers with compassionate kid gloves. they are sensative, especially to snow and cold weather.

remember they endeavor to serve and protect society everyday from irresponsible threatening behavior, very very dangerous gestures, and slave revolts.

drawing a government authorized pistol and not using it demonstrates courage not cowardice.

wa dc and afghanistan need more brave police like baylor because a hummer is a natural magnet for happy people with harmless things.

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier must do the right thing because she is a member of the fraternal order of police. reward baylor; he is a hero and master of 14th & u street. pc will win the hearts and minds because it is in the best interest of security. ugly jealous mob rule must submit and obey to the pretty boys in uniform.

Posted by: therapy | December 21, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

digtldesk said:

"If the MOB had been colored or in any other section of the city, billy clubs would have been drawn & some heads would have rolled into some Paddy wagons."

You've obviously never been on 7th & H Streets NW on a Friday or Saturday night.

Posted by: CherylTweedy | December 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

danny857 said: "An over-reaction? To some -maybe,but this crowd was defiant , comitting assault,obstructing justice and could have caused a car accident or bodily harm.This needs to be looked at from all views."


OK, Mom, we won't do it again! OK, Mom? Mom, what're ya doin'? MOM!?! Aaaagh! Billy, Mom's got a gun! RUN!!!!

[slow fade to sound of multiple gunshots]

Posted by: JC505 | December 21, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

It would have been wonderful if the Post had posted an appropriate article on the front page yesterday instead of after the rest of the World reported on it. The video was available since saturday. The video in full is so clear there should have been no question as to what to report. The Post has still failed to mention the Police Dept has changed their official position on the incident. They initially said there was nothing wrong with his behavior. Come on Post!!!

Posted by: riktiktik1 | December 21, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

He should have pumped 8 rounds into that leftist punk.

Posted by: wewinyoulose | December 21, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"He was being hit in the face with iceballs after it was clear he was a cop. "

-------------

No he was not.

Posted by: johng1

actually he was. He was standing there on his radio with gun pointed at ground, NO ONE in the area felt threatened, clearly they knew he was a cop at that point. And someone pegs him square in the face with a snowball.

Pathetic

Posted by: divi3 | December 21, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/local-breaking-news/video-cop-draws-gun-at-snowbal.html

Okay, divi3, list the times he is hit in the face with an iceball.

Zero

Posted by: johng1 | December 21, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"After 20 years of police work he gets out of his car and pulls a gun when his unmarked SUV is hit with a snowball?"

Do you know what 14th&U Street was like 20yrs ago? Maybe that has something to do with how he reacted to his car being pummeled with snowballs (little did he know it was for the sin of driving a Hummer). Perhaps he thought the group of dozens was throwing snowballs at EVERY car going through the intersection and not just his.

at the end of the vid you can clearly hear the detective saying "what if an ambulance was trying to get through here?"


Posted by: divi3 | December 21, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I still think he should have just gotten into his hummer and plowed over the whole bunch. Other than the Police, I saw no one there who actually contributes anything to society.

Posted by: gpl2411 | December 21, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

guess what johng1, the wpost vid is not the only record of the incident.

Tell me what happens at 46secs in this video? What would you call that?

And every person there knows he's law enforcement, he's on his radio with gun pointed at ground and NO ONE is behaving as if a nutjob may shoot them.

so what say you now johng1?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFC8mNdxV0c

Posted by: divi3 | December 21, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it is more like 30 years ago, when Benny's Rebel Room was there, along with a few others (This is it, the Butterfly etc.). I used to go to those when I was in high school. Twenty years ago, it was not that bad there. I was working construction on several projects.

This cop is a jerk, plain and simple. He should know the gd are he is responsible for. Second District is easy work!!

And learn the difference between an iceball and a snowball!

Posted by: johng1 | December 21, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey man, I know when the black kids threw that snowball, and then left the scene. It hit the side of his head, and it is not an iceball dude. Powdery snow and ICE: big difference. People are trying to make this crowd of young people out to be "bad kids" this is freaking ridiculous.

Posted by: johng1 | December 21, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

guy was clearly a cop and got hit in the face with a snowball while he was on his radio. First it's "he was never hit" and now it's "the black kids hit him in the head and left the scene"

awesome

Posted by: divi3 | December 21, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Dont forget everyone, tomorrow is throw snowballs at the crossing guard day. No one better look at any of the throwers funny, since it is the right of the thrower to have fun!

Posted by: cchaffin1 | December 21, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

If a postal worker or a stock broker pulled a gun in this situation, he/she would be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon -- a felony. Being an off-duty police officer does not give Mr. Baylor license to commit a felony. He was not responding to a life-threatening crime scene. The videos provide clear proof of what he did. That should be enough to fire him and prosecute him for the felony. If the chief does not prosecute him, then the department has no credibility.

Posted by: ae943 | December 21, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Do we really want someone like this as a police officer ? Fire the jerk.

Posted by: metroman76 | December 21, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"He was being hit in the face with iceballs after it was clear he was a cop. "

-------------

No he was not.

Posted by: johng1
---------------

What I said, above, is correct.

Posted by: johng1 | December 21, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

What I said, above, is correct.

Posted by: johng1

despite video to the contrary

Posted by: divi3 | December 21, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

There were no iceball, much less plural iceballs. There was only one snowball, but a snowball is not an iceball. He was hit on the side of the head .... you would make a lousy lawyer divi3

Posted by: johng1 | December 21, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"Never take a snowball to a gun fight.
If snowballs are outlawed, only outlaws will have snowballs.
Snowballs don't hit people, people hit people."
Posted by: sillygatboy | December 21, 2009 3:42 PM
==
A perfect retort.
This story made me break out in laughter several times.
It's just another indication of that new social phenomenon --
If a Hummer drove down our streets here, I'm pretty sure the last thing we would think (down here in Texas) is that it would be the property of the local police, even if Congress controls their purse-strings directly.
Did the Hummer have a police logo clearly identifying it as the property of MPD?
(Even CSI Miami has no logo!)
Some 30 years ago, we had a flash flood in our city and we suddenly found our store and the center where it was situated an island in a river of streets, which were anywhere from 5 to 15 feet deep.
People were canoeing over to the supermarket in the complex to stock up on staples.
Were the police canoeing?
If so, we never spotted anyone.
We were standing around overlooking the situation wondering when the water skiing display would begin.
Same difference.
While I can understand the tension the detective might have suffered at seeing such a large group acting like a bunch of loopy teenagers, the gun incident was over the bar and could have been the catalyst for a very serious situation.
The policeman's motivation needs to be investigated and he needs to be disciplined.
Chief Lanier took appropriate action and Washington D.C. should give her credit for it.
'Nuff said.
Fun's over.
One thing I will say: Washington is monumentally beautiful in the snow.
Wish I could have been there.
Down here, we had about 1/4 inch and it melted in 2 hours in the middle of the night.
We were mighty disappointed.
I guess it's feast or famine in this climate.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | December 21, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Detective Baylor is a multi decade honorable police officer of the District of Columbia.

He accidentally wound up driving right into a group of people having a snowball fight in an intersection of a busy street in the city he is sworn to protect.

While to the participants of this 'innocent' snowball fight,this was all fun and games-to Detective Baylor,he just found himself in the middle of alot of young adult males throwing the equivalent of icy rocks at him.

The idea that a snowball fight is acceptable in a city street and that people are entitled to hammer passing vehicles with these snowballs is TOTAL NONSENSE.

If they wanted to have a 'innoncent' snowball fight they could have had it in a city park.

Detective Baylor,AFTER BEING HIT AFTER LEAVING HIS VEHICLE TO INVESTIGATE WHAT WAS GOING ON,justifiably responded to what he perceived as a deadly threat as these young people became loud and increasingly unrespondsive to his requests to cease throwing the snowballs.

This D.C.Police officer was in fear of his life.

Not from the snowballs themselves but from what could have likely happened should he get hit hard enough with two or three and get rushed by these people.

Put yourself in Detective Baylors position for Christs sakes.

This police officer was simply trying to protect himself while trying to restore order in an area where a 'innocent' snowball fight should have NEVER been taking place.

The fact that the people there were slamming cars with snowballs shows that some of the people in the crowd were simply there to start a problem.

At least ,Detective Baylor stepped up and tried to stop anything worse from happening.

I live in the Stafford County/Fredericksburg area of Virginia,

We have a great police force here.

You fire Detective Baylor,I hope we can find a place for him down here.

We could always use another excellent police officer (like the ones we have now)not afraid to do his job.

Posted by: worknman | December 21, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

It is quite ridiculous that 20 and 30 something year olds were having a massive "snow ball fight" at a major intersection. Take that to a park, where only willing participants will be hit. I would be pretty damn annoyed if my car was pelted with snow balls. I'd be concerned for damage (dents and dings) and would be justifiably be pissed off. It is true that the cop was out of line for coming out of his vehicle with his gun unholstered. He should have been more professional and arrested those who continued to throw snow balls after identifying himself.

It is obvious that no one in the crowd felt threatened because they were giving him lip and still throwing snow balls at him even though he had his gun out!

Some in the crowd should have been arrested for disordely conduct by plain clothes officers. That black Harvard professor was after all thrown in jail for mouthing off to an officer in his own house. It is pathetic that a mob of people who defiantly continued to throw snow balls and cursed obsenities at a police officer with his gun (inappropriately) out were let off scott free. If it wasn't an officer but some thug or punk with a gun, someone in that crowd would have been shot.

Anyone who says they wouldn't be angered by being assaulted by snow balls from strangers is a damn liar.

Posted by: jabreal00 | December 21, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

If this guy is gonna let these slackers get under his skin in a city where every crazy fringe group known to man come to protest and march around for the TV cameras, it’s time for early retirement.

That said, bored, drunk, and stupid is really no way to go thru life. Couldn't have the snowball fight in a park or down at the mall, rather than "taking over" an intersection in the city during a snow emergency? Couldn't throw your little snow balls at each other, rather than at cars passing by? I dunno, maybe they could have burned off some of that alcohol and energy shoveling the snow off the walk of the elderly couple down the block, or if they have an 4 x 4, volunteering to drive essential personnel to and from the hospital, just to name a few better ideas.

And the couple guys that are all mouth - what goes around comes around and that attitude will sometime soon earn you the beat down you so richly deserve.....now go back to your Xbox and kick some real virtual butt you bad boys...

Posted by: blackbear336 | December 21, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

There were no iceball, much less plural iceballs. There was only one snowball, but a snowball is not an iceball. He was hit on the side of the head .... you would make a lousy lawyer divi3

Posted by: johng1 | December 21, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse
-----
Unless you threw it (or were pelted by it), you are merely assuming that it was not ice. Further, the most important issue is that it WAS THROWN. Defining the projectile would as idiotic as suggesting that the officer's gun was unloaded so it didn't matter that he got it out.
John, you are not smart enough to be attempting to bully people on here.

Posted by: cchaffin1 | December 21, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

cchaffin1, people are saying falsehoods. I pointed it out. Stick to the facts. I saw only one kid hit the cop. One. And it was not an iceball. Iceballs hurt like the daisies compared to snowballs.

Someone above is now calling it multiple "ice rocks" lol

Posted by: johng1 | December 21, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

First it is stupid to have a snow ball fight at a public intersecton, maybe a few kids might do it, but, hundrends of 20 - 30ish adults, just stupid!, theres a huge park a few blocks away. If you punish the cop, do something to those who stage the fight, had it been in another part of the city, things would have been address in a diffrent manner.

Posted by: snitchonmurder | December 21, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Well, the facts might be what you saw. What did the officer see when he drove up to the intersection? Did he see 200 people yelling and throwing snowballs? All my point is that there are more perspectives than just one.

Lets not kid ourselves. I think there is some arrogance here too. I mean, the "who cares about the lowly civil servant" attitude. I am a PhD and I could not do his job for a day. A little respect would go a long way.

Posted by: cchaffin1 | December 21, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

First it is stupid to have a snow ball fight at a public intersecton, maybe a few kids might do it, but, hundrends of 20 - 30ish adults, just stupid!, theres a huge park a few blocks away. If you punish the cop, do something to those who stage the fight, had it been in another part of the city, things would have been address in a diffrent manner.

Posted by: snitchonmurder | December 21, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Clearly all the officer was trying to do was protect and serve - his right to an unmolested Hummer on 14th street.

Posted by: perfgeek | December 21, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The Boston Massacre started with colonists pelting the Redcoats with iceballs. Just sayin'.

Posted by: trace1 | December 21, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

For crying out loud! Any person in that same situation should have done one of two things:

1. Keep driving

2. Get out the car load up on some snow and start slinging!


For those of you calling the actions of the people involved in the snowball event "Crimes" please grow the heck up!

It was bunch of young people having fun. I drove through the area during the "fight" honked my horn and yelled some trash out the window of my HHR. I got pelted with snowballs and kept driving and LAUGHING!

This cop has to be suspended or fired for he cannot go back on the street. First he has the bad judgment to drive a gas-guzzling Hummer and second he pulls a gun because his car was hit with a snowball.

Dude needs some serious couch time.

Posted by: larrybellinger | December 21, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

My previous comment was removed. I'll try again.

The cop overreacted. The unruly mob also did not help the situation. Nobody in the crowd obviously felt threatened. They continued to hurl both profanities and snow balls at the officer, when it was obvious that he was a cop. I would be extremely angry if my car got hit with multiple snow balls. If these 20 and 30 something want to have an organized "snow ball" fight, they should do it in a park, not the middle of a major intersection in DC. Plus once it's clear that it's a cop, telling them to stop, they should.

When I initially heard the story, I was initially going to bash the cops. I envisioned a cop pulling out his gun on kids or teenagers having a snowball fight in a park. I was horrified when I saw 30 or so people throwing snowballs across 14th street and purposefully hitting vehicles. I am not a fan of hummers but it doesn't give anyone a right to hit with snowballs, slash tires, or vandilize it. How would one feel if their car was being pelted with snowballs? Would they just laugh it off and think it's just all in fun? I don't think so. If anyone says the contrary, they're lying.

Some in that crowd should have been arrested for disorderly conduct, because they continued to throw snowballs and curse obsenities at a cop. Afterall, wasn't that professor from Harvard arrested for mouthing off to a cop in his own house!

It's too bad that the cop overreacted and basically was a PR disaster for DC MPD. If he reacted more appropriately by identifying himself first and trying to disperse the crowd to a park, that would have been better. He should have explained that it was a public safety issue. If they continued to shout obsenities and throw snowballs, then arrest them for disorderly conduct.

Posted by: jabreal00 | December 21, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Police officer with a Hummer? Wow. Lot's of $$$ in his pocket. Maybe overtime. Owned or rented?

Posted by: gottabeanon1 | December 21, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

The officer had every right to draw his weapon. He was hit (his vehicle) with an airborne object, and he investigate who did it and I can assume he felt threatened. Since when you organize a mob snowball fight in the middle of a busy intersection with motorist using it who are already having a hard time traveling snowy roads? Add to that the iditos in a public street throwing snowballs across the intersection, and it's s receipe for disaster. The idiots who organized the fight should be arrested for organizing without a permit and malicious mayhem.

Posted by: rkayblock1 | December 21, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

he obviously forgot which side of the city he was on. If he had been east of the Anacostia, this would have ended very differently.

Having said that. Isn't there a problem when what I assume to be college students think it's perfectly suitable to throw a 'missile' (as defined by Virginia law anyway) at an automobile?

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | December 21, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Had this happened at night, I think someone woiuld have been killed. While it's pretty dopey to (and illegal) to throw stuff at cars, these actions don't rise to the level of a cop drawing his weapon. This was extremely poor judgement and a hazard to many people. This cop has been on the force for over twenty years - maybe it's time he looked for another line of work.

Posted by: palmtree2001 | December 21, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

"By Maria Glod, Theola Labbé-DeBose and Matt Zapotosky"

It took THREE WAPOO "reporters" to "write" this blurb?

And "Professor": what are you implying by writing this?

"he obviously forgot which side of the city he was on. If he had been east of the Anacostia, this would have ended very differently."

There was a time when "14th & U" was not yuppified: are you saying that those people were just throwing snowballs there whereas those "east of the Anacostia" (which would include all terrain to the Atlantic Ocean) would what: have guns along with their snowballs and would have shot at this lame officer?

Posted by: nickthimmeschearthlinknet | December 21, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Snowball fight in the middle of a busy city intersection = bad idea. Plain clothes officer pulling a gun at the snowball fight = bad idea.

Posted by: trace1 | December 21, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Whats wrong with young people today?

Well, also, what's wrong with the cop. He looks like the top student in "Incident Escalation 101".

Snow Emergency and he's off duty. Whats up with that?

Posted by: oldiesfan1 | December 21, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

From the videos I have seen it appears that about 200 people were engaging in an "unlawful assembly" as defined by the D.C. Code and engaged in Disorderly Conduct. The throwing of a snowball or "iceball" perhaps could be construed as "Throwing a missile" in the District. Take the snowball fights to the parks the next time. Every officer perceives danger differently. Being a former police officer and official I know well the dangers of the district. You never know in this city who does have a gun or where the next shot may come from. Next time maybe the organizers should send their Twitter or other social networking site advertising a snowball fight to the police department or Chief Lanier herself. I'm not even going to address the Department's or Chief's statements or actions because I think it it a situation that does not deserve the attention being given it by the media or the Twitterers.

Posted by: soloridernmd | December 21, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Remember Kent State!

Posted by: johng1 | December 21, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

As usual, blame is on both sides, but he's the officer and it's his profession to take the high road. So he's made a professional as well as personal mistake, for which he is being reprimanded. We don't know the background of his life, nor what his level of tiredness nor stress might have been. Unfortunately for him, he is now a reminder of what not to do for everyone.

Posted by: pointofdiscovery | December 21, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

“Let me be very clear in stating that I believe the actions of the officer were totally inappropriate!,” Lanier wrote in her statement. “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.”
----

What do you expect when you have such low standards to become a DC Police officer..

Posted by: AlbyVA | December 21, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

This reminds of the movie Friday when the character played by Chris Tucker complains about losing his job...on his day off. Ice Cube replies -- what kind of idiot gets fired on his day off!

Posted by: varmau | December 21, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Larrybellinger said...

"First he has the bad judgment to drive a gas-guzzling Hummer..."

Well, I drive a gas-guzzling Toyota F-J Cruiser. And I took the time that day to volunteer to drive hospital personnel to their jobs (who might have otherwise been unable to get to work).

It seems that gas-guzzling 4x4s were the only vehicles that could assist with this.

Posted by: CherylTweedy | December 21, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

This is cRaaazzzzzY.


A Detective with a GUN needing to protect his Humvee from snowballs.

What in the h-e-double-l is the world coming to.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | December 21, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Those of you defending this clown seem to have no concept of what living in a free society is all about. The officer should not only be fired he should be thrown in jail as an example. Those defending him should move to a third world country where this would be tolerated.

Posted by: metroman76 | December 21, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

This so-called Veteran police detective needs to be permanently removed from the force. The fact that he responded to an old-fashioned snowball fight with a gun indicates that he is a danger to everyone around him because he allowed a little snowball to so enrage him that he pulled his gun to scare people

Posted by: grossdc2 | December 21, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Only a seasoned and experienced jack-booted thick-necked buzz-cut THUG would think that a thrown snowball warrants the brandishing of a handgun. Since the gun was out in the open, what were the snow ball fighters to think of this bold and manly display of cop bravado and detective machismo? Were they supposed to think that Mr. Thug would kill them dead in the street if a snow ball hit the $70,000 Hummer? Were they supposed to think that Thuggums would kill them dead in the street if a snow ball hit Thuggums? I hope Chief Lanier uses this idiot thug as an example and fires him without any more trifling ado...like assigning the thug to a desk until the snow melts. Thugs...each of them, all of them.

Posted by: LouisianaVirginian | December 21, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier sayz "Dont judge DC police on the conduct of one,two or more bad apples"

The officer in question will get a reprimand of one weeks suspension...with full pay.LOL!

Posted by: hyroller56 | December 21, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

The guy drives a hummer, and wears a fur coat. This is not the first inappropriate or dangerous thing he has done. Investigate his finances, please.

Posted by: 123cartoon | December 21, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

May not be true of all Hummer owners, but a lot of them have an in-your-face attitude to start with. That kind of Hummer owner with a gun -- that's scary.

Posted by: jaismick | December 21, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

You can bring the beast to civilization,but you cant civilize the beast

Posted by: hyroller56 | December 21, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Some of you are defending Baylor, saying he was right to draw his gun because he felt threatened by the snowball-throwing.

Hello! Threatened by snowballs?! Is this guy really a cop? Is he even a grown man, or is he six years old and the big kids on the block are picking on him?

At worst, he should have used his cell phone to call the uniformed cops to deal with it. That's what proper police procedure is, rather than charging around like Dirty Harry because someone got some snow on your precious car. This guy lacks the judgment to be a cop.

Workman, you want to hire him where you live. Think about what will happen if you're out there watering your lawn and he drives by and you get a couple of drops of water on his Hummer. Where do you want your body sent?

Posted by: usemark1 | December 21, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

While a great number of Metro police do a relatively decent job, this incident conjures up images of D.C. cops walking a beat, checking out their reflection in a shop window or down at their shoes. Too many of these civil servants have zero capability indealing with the public they serve. This barbarian should not be allowed to serve on the force!
Ironic point< Does anyone see how far that very intersection has come in 42 years?

Posted by: halfsmokelov | December 21, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

A gun AND a Hummer? (Not a real one; it looks like the 4th generation knock-off sold to weak-minded poor folk. The Md. FOP license plate 2568, as shown in the extended video, reveals this is NOT an MPD vehicle, but the compensating toy of the usual DC payroll leech from PG).

Diagnosis: Erectile dysfunction.

Action required: life probation.

Posted by: SydneyP | December 21, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

While a great number of Metro police do a relatively decent job, this incident conjures up images of D.C. cops walking a beat, checking out their reflection in a shop window or down at their shoes. Too many of these civil servants have zero capability indealing with the public they serve. This barbarian should not be allowed to serve on the force!
Ironic point< Does anyone see how far that very intersection has come in 42 years?

Posted by: halfsmokelov | December 21, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that the fact that this detective drives a Hummer a point to be discussed?People work hard to buy the things they want.Police officers risk their lives daily to earn their salaries.Why shouldn't they buy the kind of cars that they choose to?If I had a Hummer and someone had thrown ANYTHING at it,I would be livid!Judge based on the facts.The snowball fight in an intersection was dangerous and illegal.Throwing snowballs at traffic was dangerous and illegal.Disobeying and pelting an officer with snowballs was illegal.1 officer amid a very large crowd that was defiant and hurling snowballs at him.I would have felt threatened.It was a mob.The "snowballers" need to grow up and plan their activities in a place where they are not endangering others.

Posted by: danny857 | December 22, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

danny857, for the sake of argument let's assume that Det. Baylor obtained his hummer legally by saving up for it or buying it cheap from the "confiscated vehicles" sale or whatever. It looks pretty hinky for someone on a cop salary to drive such a thing, and driving it in many people's minds means the cop doesn't give a damn about the greater good of the community or the planet, but let's set that aside. People aren't mad because the cop got mad. They are mad because the cop's anger caused him to PULL OUT A GUN, in other words SHOW DEADLY FORCE. You aren't allowed to just pull your gun every time you get ticked off at someone, especially when you haven't even clearly identified yourself as a police officer. There has to be some threat to life going on. It's clear from the video that (a) no one in the crowd was intending any threat to someone's life or even a serious threat to their property, and (b) no one realized for some minutes that this guy with a gun was even a police officer! Furthermore, if you want to make the argument that the police officer needed his gun out because he was confronting a big unruly crowd, the appropriate thing for him to do would have been to call for backup, not jump out and pull a gun on that many people. Who knows, someone there might have had a gun of their own and not knowing he was a police officer, shot back at him. Innocent bystanders might have been hurt. Getting angry is one thing but you're not allowed to just whip out your gun every time you get mad, ESPECIALLY if you are a police officer. People expect cops to have better judgment than that.

Posted by: PandaSneeze | December 22, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

This activist Lacey Macauley claims on her Twitter account and her blog that she and a few of her friends were responsible for organizing the snowball fight at 14th and U street. http://lacymacauley.wordpress.com/

Suggest the MPD and DA's office look into the organizing of these mini-riots on Public property in complete VIOLATION of DC laws ; and put a stop to Ms Macauley and her minions.

They may try it again if you don't stop them!!
They also seem to have a problem with Blacks and Authority figures.
They also say on their twitter account how that can't stand people who use Coal and gas.(Might be the reason you see all the posts about the Police officer's car. )

Posted by: digtldesk | December 22, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

PandaSneeze Go look at the 15 Videos up at Huffington Post so you can see the hooligans throwing snowballs at Baylor After he exits his vehicle and in full view the officer is trying to holster his weapon. Yet stupid people are in the crowd still throwing missiles at him; even the camera person says it is stupid to throw snowballs at an armed man on the video tape. The snippets you see on TV are NOT the full Video. It looks like a RIOT out there of 200 + people all in the street, the curb, the bus lane everywhere ; and they are out of control. Until you see all 15 Videos you have no idea of what was happening. This officer had the right to draw his weapon & protect his life !

Posted by: digtldesk | December 22, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

When the white racist anarchist saw a well dressed African American drive by in a Hummer,a hated symbol of these skinhead racist, they reacted with rocks inside the snow packed ice. As soon as he got out of his vehicle with his radio and duty weapon he was pelted by more of these "Negro haters" and proceeded to strike him in the head with the weapons they threw. He neither shot or aimed at these racist children of privilege but was ready in case they tried to lynch mob him like they have done for so many centuries to uppity black men who try to stand up for their rights. Anarchist symbols were flown all the day. No white person's expensive vehicle was struck by snow covered rocks. Actually whites were assisted out of the intersection as were white policemen whose squad car was stuck. No matter what a black man tries to succeed in white society they will be brought down by the Anarchist,Klan skin headed white youths of the day. Hopefully Dr. Jackson will intervene in this railroading of Detective Sgt Bradly.

Posted by: Qikdra | December 22, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

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