Monday, December 21, 2009

Note to police officers everywhere!

Photo by Matthew Bradley via Flickr
Here's some friendly holiday advice to cops everywhere: In case you haven't noticed, there are more cameras being carried by more people than ever before in history.
So if you're planning on packing heat at the next neighborhood snowball fight; you might want to rethink. Your random act of stupidity might end up being flashed around the world for all the world to see.

Also a word to police department spokespeople and supervisors...same advice: Don't automatically stick up for your people who are accused of wrongdoing until you have all the facts. Especially when there are hundreds of witnesses and the aforementioned cameras. You could also end up looking foolish in front of the entire nation. From the Washington Post:
People squealed as they hurled balls of snow across the largely deserted road. Then, a snowball or two slammed into a Hummer. The driver, a plainclothes detective whom D.C. police refused to identify, got out, drew his gun and exchanged angry words with revelers, according to video footage and witnesses.

Police said initially that the detective had not flashed his weapon. On Sunday, the officer was placed on desk duty after Twitter, blogs and YouTube appeared to show otherwise.
From the 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."
The story has prompted a firestorm snowstorm of over 700 reader comments on the Washington Post's Web site.

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