Communion Of Dreams

It’s all winter fun until someone pulls a gun.
December 20, 2009, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Civil Rights, Failure, Government, Guns, Humor, Press, YouTube

Well, maybe there is a use for Twitter, after all. Seems that in the middle of the big snowstorm smacking the East Coast, some folks in DC decided to organize a good ol’ fashioned snowball fight. You know, show up, informal sides, throw snowballs at one another. Some 150 – 200 people joined in. And everyone was having just too much fun.

Until some idiot in a Hummer drives through the intersection where this party is going on, and his vehicle gets smacked by a few snowballs. Said idiot jumps out of said Hummer, and draws a gun.


Seriously, that’s what happened. There were plenty of witnesses, plenty of pictures, plenty of video. Here’s a good one, where you can clearly see the gun in his left hand:


Nice, eh?

And here’s the *really* good part: the guy in question is a D.C. police detective, tentatively identified as Detective Baylor. But don’t take my word for it, here he is himself:

Rest assured, the DC police administration are on the case:

D.C. police have said they are investigating the incident. Assistant Chief Pete Newsham, who leads the department’s investigative services bureau, has said the detective in question “was armed but never pulls his weapon.” Photos and videos posted online appear to contradict that, though none show the detective pointing his gun at anyone.

* * *

According to Newsham, the detective approached the group of snowball fighters and had “some kind of interaction” with them. He said the detective holstered a cellphone, and someone from the crowd called to report a man with a gun.

“I think what probably happens is somebody probably saw his gun and called the police,” Newsham said.

OK, there are many things wrong with this . . . First, the behaviour of those who threw snowballs at the Hummer, but that’s a pretty mild transgression. Then there’s Detective Baylor’s behaviour is jumping out of his vehicle – again, a fairly mild transgression, and an understandable one for most people. But then the idiot pulled his weapon. Because people were throwing snowballs?? Are you fucking kidding me???

He’s frankly lucky that he didn’t get shot when uniformed officers showed up on the scene, after someone did call in a “man with a gun”. Kudos to the reporting officers for keeping their heads about them, in dealing with Baylor and with the crowd.

But what may even be worse was the knee-jerk reaction of Assistant Chief Newsham in dismissing the reports that one of his detectives behaved in a manner which is completely unacceptable. Supporting your officers is one thing – making statements to the press blankly denying that what happened, happened, is extremely unwise. Detective Baylor may need some anger management classes, or to be moved to a nice desk job or something. Newsham needs to lose some rank or even his job.

Why? Well, because he has just betrayed the public, and even the officers in his department. You deny reality (or jump in prematurely) like this and you show that you cannot be trusted to appropriately investigate any charges against your officers. Do that, and the public will respond appropriately by not providing you their faith and cooperation. Furthermore, and this is the thing that really pisses me off, they won’t trust your officers, either, and not give them their help and cooperation. And cops need all the help they can get.

Jim Downey

(Cross posted to UTI.)

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