Reason.tv: DC Cop vs. Snowball Throwers, Exclusive Video; UPDATED with Today Show Footage!

As Jesse Walker noted earlier, an armed confrontation between snowball-throwing DC residents and police took place during the weekend's historic snowfall.

Around 2.30PM on Saturday, December 19, residents at the intersection of 14th and U Streets NW started throwing snowballs at passing Hummers; they had gathered there as part of Twitter-organized happening.

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.

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!"

Approximately 5 minutes; harsh language throughout.

Original comment thread (over 600 comments and counting) is online here. Start a new one below.

Update: Reason.tv's Dan Hayes was interviewed about the incident for the Today Show on NBC. Watch below.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • SIV||

    Original comment thread (over 600 comments and counting) is online here. Start a new one below.

    Comment whores.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    I haven't read the original thread. Before I say anything, was this "Twitter organized happening" specifically done to gather and throw snowballs at passing vehicles? Was it to just throw the snowballs at Hummers? Were they hitting cars with UNSUSPECTING drivers in them that were not a part of the gathering?

  • ||

    Shit SIV, you are a fast one.

  • SIV||

    Boot Hill is full o' Hombres that thought they is faster

  • Fluffy||

    First let me say that I wholeheartedly support singling out Hummers and subjecting their owners to terrah.

    Why? Because people who own Hummers are dicks.

    I don't give a damn about the environmental nonsense. I don't care how low their gas mileage is. But when you make a vehicle that looks like a Hummer, and you market it in the way that Hummers are marketed, you are insuring that only dicks will buy them.

    New Yorkers and Connectifucks who drive their Hummers up my way are always, uniformly and without exception, dicks.

    So please, Twitterites, use your mighty technological tools to set up many more such events. Flashmob the Hummerites into oblivion.

  • Joel||

    Yeah, once I was wary of Corvette drivers because I'd never met one who didn't turn out to be bad news. Vettes pretty much lost out to Hummers as my barometer of a stranger's dickdom a long time ago, and at least Vettes are cool. Hummers are just...sad. Snowball away, Twitterkins!

  • ||

    I'm a female vette owner and I find that cops, parking police, and campus police will write you as many tickets as they can because as they frequently say to me, "You can afford it." As far as I'm concerned, convertible vette is the only way to drive to the Keys ( I live in Florida)

  • ||

    New Yorkers and Connectifucks

    We prefer "Connecticunt", thankyouverymuch.

  • ||

    Preference aside, its awkward to preface Connectifucks with "Fucking".

    "Fucking Connecticunt" works so much better.

  • ||

    And here I thought libertarians cared about property rights. Never realized there was an exception for vehicles whose design and marketing strategies you don't like.

  • JB||

    Anything that hurts a Fluffy vagina should be banned.

  • Fluffy||

    By the way, it is really, really fucking amusing that you're talking about vaginas when apparently this worthless cunt of a cop jumped out of his car brandishing a weapon because snow hit his car.

    Seriously. Especially since you assholes apparently want to claim that the cop was worried about "property damage". How much sand has to be in your vagina for you to jump out of your Hummer and scream to the world, "My precious, precious Hummer! It has come in contact with snow! It is ruined forever! It will never be the same to me! We would sit for hours in the garage, caressing each other, and now that's gone, all gone! Woe, woe to my heart!"

    Now THAT is a vagina problem.

  • JB||

    Sounds like you have more than a few grains of sand in there.

    Is it ok to spit on you or your car?

  • ||

    As long as you don't approve of the way he looks or is marketed, apparently yes.

  • ||

    Actually I would agree with this. There aren't nearly enough fluffy vaginas in the world, and we don't want to discourage them.

  • Fluffy||

    His property wasn't damaged.

    Incidental contact with your property in a public place isn't actionable in the absence of actual damage.

    Besides, you are a fucking stupid cunt [as if we didn't already know this was the case] if you think the reason the cop got out of his car was because he thought his property was damaged. He got out of his car to show that he was In Charge. So fuck him.

  • ||

    Incidental contact with your property

    The contact was not "incidental", the snowballs were thrown at the vehicle and at his person. Big difference.

  • Fluffy||

    Not really.

    The model malicious mischief statute requires actual damage.

    The snowballs thrown at his person you might have a case about. But I'm arguing about his overreaction to the snowballs that hit his car. Jumping out of your car and drawing your weapon in response to a non-crime is what I'm talking about.

  • ||

    So, say, spitting or pissing on someone's car would not be actionable. Heck, you could even take a dump on someone's windshield without fear of retribution, since birds do it.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    If you can piss on a moving vehicle, I will find a lot more respect for you. That would be quite the trick, especially if said vehicle is moving faster than parade speed.

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, spitting on someone's car would in fact not be actionable.

    Unless you were in a jurisdiction with a generic law against spitting in public of any kind.

    Peeing or shitting would be covered under public urination and defecation laws, and probably indecent exposure laws too.

    A more apt analogy would be if I was spraying my friend with a garden hose, and the water hit the side of your car, or hit the ground just before you drove through it.

    Or if I was raking leaves and a bunch of leaves flew up and hit your car.

    Seriously, I realize that you'd LIKE to think that you have justification to go all Rambo in such a situation, but you don't. It's like claiming that if I put my porchlight on, and the photons in the light hit your car, that I'm violating the sanctity of your property and you can chase me with a gun.

  • ||

    I don't want to live in a world where hooligans can spit on my property with impunity. Or dump containers of urine and feces on my property, to avoid public excretion statutes.

  • Fluffy||

    Then kill yourself.

  • ||

    Amusing, but pointless.

  • Please.||

    Write your legislature.

  • Mango Punch||

    Sorry, not outraged.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    I'm leaning this way right now.

    You know, if I'm driving along and suddenly my car is pelted with snowballs, I'd be...

    A. Frightened
    B. Pissed
    C. IN. ACTUAL. DANGER.

    Let's see, throwing something, even a very lightly packed snowball aT someone who is driving by and not suspecting it, is fucking stupid. And yes, it's dangerous.

    Granted, if they snowball fight was in full swing and the cop could see it coming then he very much overreacted.

    Still, a group of idiots gathered about throwing snowballs at unsuspecting (if they were) Hummers as they drove by during a snowstorm gets NO sympathy from me. Sometimes, stupid people get shot for being stupid and doing stupid things.

    I want to stress!!! I DO NOT KNOW THE FULL FACTS OF WHAT HAPPENED! MY OPINION IS NOT SET HERE UNTIL I FIND OUT MORE!

  • ||

    Regardless of the snowball throwers dickishness, police exist in society to keep the peace, not escalate minor annoyances into full blown riots or smack around morons for fun and profit. Cop #1 in plainclothes reacted very poorly to the siutation and put himself in a him vs. the crowd position in which bad things can happen. If his testosterone level had been down a couple notches, he could have better judged the actual threat of the situation and handled it better. Just once I want to see a video of a police officer that actually controls and mitigates the situation rather than lets personal pride and emotional state dictate the terms of the engagement.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "Just once I want to see a video of a police officer that actually controls and mitigates the situation rather than lets personal pride and emotional state dictate the terms of the engagement."

    The second cop that showed up surprised me because he, in my opinion was doing this.

    What really bugs me about this isn't the dickishness. It's the fact that there was a gaggle of people out there during a snowstorm throwing things and apparently moving vehicles. That is genuinely dangerous. I can understand if a snowball accidentally hit a car or even a few but purposefully being thrown at moving vehicles does not get a pass from me.

    I also do not have a problem with the cop pulling his weapon. Overreacting? Yeah it is. I DO have a problem with his attitude and more importantly, that the first several things out of his mouth when he got out of his vehicle were not "DC POLICE!" or something like that.

  • ||

    I'll agree the attitude of the second officer on scene appeared exemplary, probably because he was jacked up on taking down snowballers.

    ...and I don't know about you Kyle, but having driven through unplowed streets in the middle of winter during a snowing period, snowballs are the least of my concerns. 5mph is ambitious speed on packed snow in the first place and while I'd be annoyed at the possible paint damage the snowballs are doing, I definitely wouldn't exit the car and challenge the snowballers to a duel over it.

  • ||

    was= wasn't

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    The first cop was from Maryland.

  • ||

    good lord, out of his jurisdiction too, will wonders never cease.

  • ||

    This is why the people saying he should have shown his badge are way off-base.

    In the previous thread, myself and several other posters said this should be allowed even if he isn't a cop, so there's no need to quibble about jurisdiction.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Don't we have a right to know a cop is in the vicinity?

  • Fluffy||

    No, it is not genuinely dangerous.

  • ||

    Fluffy, expert on traffic safety, has spoken! There can be no further debate.

  • Fluffy||

    That's right. There can't be.

    Do you know how many tens of millions of snowballs have hit vehicles in the United States in the last century?

    If it was, in fact, genuinely dangerous, there would be hundreds of thousands of incidents where a car was hit by a snowball and, say, burst into flames, or was bodily lifted 100 feet into the air, or fell to the bottom of the sea. The absence of these hundreds of thousands of incidents leads me to conclude that it is not actually dangerous at all.

    Seriously, this is just another one of those situations where apologists for the overapplication of state power want to grossly exaggerate the dangerousness of something trivial in order to not appear absurd.

  • Benjamin||

    My outrage, albeit rather minor, stems from a few key points here. 1. The cop took a while to identify himself.
    2. He acted like a dillwad.

    So the question is, given that a not insignificant number of the snow-ballers did come across as obnoxious protester types, what would have happened if a regular citizen had done the same thing? Given DC's draconian gun laws said person would have been tasered repeatedly and spent a long time in jail. This over reacting cop will get a slap on the wrist, if that.

    On the other hand the rest of the DC cops seemed to behave in a surprisingly civil manner, perhaps due to the many cameras. Which is why I whole heartedly support filming cops as often as possible...it might help to keep them honest.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Hadn't seen you post Benjamin before I posted my reply to LIT. I'm very much with you here. Excellent post.

  • Abdul||

    Can you really brandish a gun when you are wearing a chinchilla-lined 40 pound quilt over your holster?

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Nice Victor Sweet reference.

  • Please.||

    HAHAHA!

  • kinnath||

    I see ABC's website has picked up the story. Gee, I wonder which direction the main stream media will take on this one?

  • ||

    Stupid PUNK cop. Its punk cops like this I just LOVE to hear about in the news that get clipped in the line of duty!

    RT
    www.anonymous-web.cz.tc

  • SIV||

    anonymity-bot is gettin' wit da program

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    anonymity-bot has a hair-trigger temper.

  • ||

    Sweet- the AnonymityBot is a violent anarchist.

    Let's kidnap him and retrofit some chain guns on him.

  • Ogden Wernstrom||

    Chain guns and Lotus Notes.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    I think I've seen this movie before. It never ends well for the kidnappers.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    We'll roll it out and it'll start shooting while saying "lol dude now that looks like fun!"

  • ed||

    SNOWBALL II: THE RECKONING

  • ||

    It will be interesting to see how the media plays this one. Afterall, the cop is a minority and union member. He's also better than us by passing a LEO exam. Juxtapose all that with guns are like, evil, man.

  • ||

    I saw ReasonTV's video (with credit) on the Tiday show this morning. The fluffcasters were not amused by a cop pulling out a weapon after his car got hit by a snowball.

    I wonder how would this short tempered jerk react if somebody had skidded into him at a stoplight.+

  • ||

    Skidding into someone at a stoplight is presumably an unintentional act.

    Throwing snowballs at a vehicle and then at the person who exits the vehicle is an intentional act.

    I'm kind of embarrassed to have had to point out the importance of that distinction several times in the previous threads on the topic, but hey, everyone has a purpose in life.

  • ||

    I'm not surprised that the Today Show "omg its a gun!" talking heads would react that way. I also like the way they framed it: a bunch of "young adults" having a "good old-fashioned snowball fight", when this guy's vehicle "was hit by" a snowball.

    Also, do I get a premonition hat-tip for my prediction that one of the Reason staffers was among the snowballers? Has Dan Hayes been reassigned to desk duty for failing to reign in his friends who were violating the property rights of strangers?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    At least Hayes didn't pull a gun...

  • thenino85||

    Brandishing a gun? Waving it in their faces? Come on Reason, have you been taking lessons from the extreme elements of the health care debate in rhetoric? Did you even watch the damn clip? He had the gun at his sides at all time. It took a while for the crowd to realize he even had a gun; there was confusion about it among the crowd.

    Sorry guys, but watching this clip, they deserved it. They were assaulting random passing-by vehicles. Not each other, but the reports make clear that they were specifically targeting moving cars. You might say they are only snowballs, but the snowballs could have ice in them, damaging the cars. Worse yet, if someone got distracted by the snowball hitting their car, they could have lost control and caused an accident. I imagine that people in California won't be able to appreciate just how terrible winter driving is, and how even slight disturbances can cause accidents in those conditions. Furthermore, he never once pointed the gun at them; he simply unsheathed it. That's not really "brandishing". He never waved it at them. He simply drew it in preparation for something, which is the sensible thing to do when you're facing down a crowd of people that are assaulting vehicles. He didn't point a gun at them even when some dumbass threw a snowball at him. This isn't nanny statism; this is an officer keeping the peace, and focusing on stuff like this only makes you seem like overreacting zealots. Save your moral outrage for the real cases of officers going over the line.

  • ||

    The officer made the mistake when he got out of the car and faced the crowd alone. That in itself escalated the situation by placing himself in physical danger (say if some ne'er do well using the crowd as cover, threw a snowball covered rock at him). He was unprepared and then unholstered his gun, a threat of violence without the control of backup present. The only thing he did right was call for backup after engaging the crowd, thus getting cool heads in there for de-escalation.

    I'm not saying this incident says this cop should be fired, but if his superior officer doesn't chew him a new one for his mistakes, that is one shitty police department. Crowd control is not about intimidation, it is about systematic identification of potential points of conflict (isolating the dangerous from the confused mass) and removing the flashpoints. The initial engagement was merely a chest thumping from someone with injured pride (who just happened to be a cop). That he managed to realize his mistake is the reason this ended safely.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I think LIT has the handle on this thing.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Except it was a Maryland cop, and it took the arrival of DC cops to diffuse the situation the first cop flubbed.

    Otherwise, LIT has, as you said, the handle.

  • ||

    *sigh* missed the part about the officer being from Maryland, that makes this even more aggregious a mistake.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Same here. And I agree with you.

    So, I guess The Wire was pretty accurate then?

  • ||

    Yes, there was a very good reason that The Wire was filmed in old Charm City.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    No worries, LIT... it's just icing on the cake that he was out of his jurisdiction.

  • Mad Elf||

    He didn't brandish the gun until they started throwing snow balls at him, a couple of which hit him in the head. This is how the situation played out according to the video:

    Dumbass hipster douches throw snowballs at moving vehicles.

    Guy gets out and confronts them. Probably tells them what they are doing is dangerous.

    Crowd's response is to throw snowballs at the guy.

    Guy realizes he is dealing with an unruly mob that won't be reasoned with decides to show that he has a gun to defend himself.

    This is such a non-story.

  • ||

    Think for a couple seconds about what you just said.

    "Dumbass hipster douches throw snowballs at moving vehicles." Snowballs...SNOWBALLS, not molotov cocktails

    "Guy gets out and confronts them. Probably tells them what they are doing is dangerous." Lucky for him he's a cop or else its just one angry dude escalating a situation out of his control...which until backup arrives, IS THE SITUATION THIS GUY IS FACING.

    "Crowd's response is to throw snowballs at the guy." Yeah, because they've already determined throwing snowballs is fun and they see no reason to stop because one angry dude is yelling at them.

    "Guy realizes he is dealing with an unruly mob that won't be reasoned with decides to show that he has a gun to defend himself." One gun will not protect him against a dozen people, each with the capability to doing him harm. It deters the most risk averse, but if there's anyone in the crowd with a vendetta against this guy, all it takes is a snowball with rock in it to the temple to create a huge mess.

    "This is such a non-story."
    Except for the mistakes in crowd control this one officer exhibited.

  • Mad Elf||

    It's dangerous to distract drivers in those road conditions. It only takes one mistake to go into a slide and hit a car, a streetlight, a person on the sidewalk, etc.

    Also, you say,

    Snowballs...SNOWBALLS, not molotov cocktails

    but then you say

    all it takes is a snowball with rock in it to the temple to create a huge mess.

    Make up your mind. Are snowballs dangerous or not? Even if someone doesn't mean to pack a snow ball with ice or rock, they could do so accidentally. Sounds like you're the one who needs to think about what they are saying.

  • ||

    Snowball with a rock to a car is a insurance claim, snowball with a rock to the temple is possibly death.

    As there was no indication that they were already throwing snowballs with rocks, the insurance claim possibility is low. Once driver gets out of his car and starts berating and threatening crowd, snowball with rock in it possibilities rise. There is no conflict in my statements.

    ..and while dangerous to distract drivers, as I've indicated in other posts, creeping speeds are already the proper speeds in those conditions and if a snowball to the windshield causes your wreck, you were probably driving too fast for conditions already.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Uh-huh, and snowball with a rock in it through a car window is possible injury or death, not just an insurance claim. Not to mention, what if someone had their window rolled down and a snowball, even without a rock, happened to hit them in the face? You don't think that might cause an accident?

  • ||

    Not to mention, what if someone had their window rolled down

    Huh?

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Most cars come equipped with windows that can be rolled down, either by pushing a button or cranking a handle.

    While it is unlikely that in snowy weather many drivers might have the window rolled down, or OPEN, it is possible, particularly in the case of smokers.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    And another thing--most people, no matter where they live and how long they've been there--are not good at driving in snow. Period. So throwing things at cars in snow, no matter how harmless the thrown objects normally are, is a REALLY. FUCKING. STUPID. IDEA.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "Save your moral outrage for the real cases of officers going over the line."

    But I have so much moral outrage! I need to vent it at every opportunity.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    This is also why you never bring a dog to a snowball fight.

  • anarch||

    I've got no dog in this fight.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Maybe it's because I drive on rural roads routinely covered with substantial amounts of snow, but I don't see the danger aspect of snowballs hitting my vehicle. Setting everything else about this aside, given the conditions of the road in the video, I would think D.C. drivers were already be moving slowly and defensively. It doesn't seem quite same as getting hit from a brick from an overpass.

    Let me reiterate that I recognize my comfort level with snowy conditions is probably higher than many, and if I was doing something else I wasn't accustomed to doing and was startled, the danger aspect would be something to focus on. But in this situation, I personally am having a tough time seeing that aspect of the outrage.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    I'm saying "danger" in regards to the snowball hitting the vehicle and startling the driver. That, combined with the subpar driving conditions to me is what gives it the element of danger I'm talking about. Granted, I'll admit that it's probably a low level type of threat and the circumstances would have to play out "just" right but it's still something that could have been avoided entirely.

    There seems to be several points here when the situation could have been diffused and was escalated instead.

    Snowball fights are supposed to be fun damnit.

  • ||

    In a town where the don't usually have heavy snow, a crowd of revelers is bound to think it's a fun and novel idea to throw snowballs at cars. No, it's not particularly dangerous (no matter what some of the safety nazis in this thread are saying), but you still shouldn't do it. It scares the shit out of people who are not there to participate in your "fun."

    The correct response for that MD detective (or anybody in that situation) would be to call the local police. Then a UNIFORMED officer could swing by and POLITELY inform the crowd that they need to refrain from throwing their snowballs at passing cars.

    The way it was handled, I found the shouts of "fuck you, pig" do be delightfully funny demonstrations of indignation.

  • ||

    I hate when the hummer stops, I pull my piece out, and then get a snowball in the mouth.

  • anarch||

    By re-arranging the nouns in that sentence, Tulpa, you can map every possible permutation of every possible post on every possible thread at Hit and Run.

    Merry Christmas!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Excellent.

  • ||

    I think the cop was wrong, but I really don't like the extended adolescence on display with a bunch of mid-twenty somethings coming together for a snowball fight. Snowball fights are the purview of the 14 and under crowd.

  • ||

    ..and I wish these damn kids would get off my lawn. They're destroying the rudebaga garden!!

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Rutabaga.

  • ||

    Plus everybody knows old people grow rhubarb, not rutabagas. They can't get enough of that weird, sour-bitter flavor.

  • ||

    Furthermore, he never once pointed the gun at them; he simply unsheathed it. That's not really "brandishing".

    Bullshit. He pulled his weapon out of its holster, and displayed it with the explicit intent to intimidate those people.

  • Cap'n NoStar||

    A lesson for D.C.: When guns are outlawed, only criminals will throw snow balls.

  • ¢||

    I don't see the danger aspect of snowballs hitting my vehicle.

    It's the unexpected and inexplicable BANG! from a direction other than the directions of visible traffic. It makes your brain not work right, until you figure out what's going on. And that's a problem, if you're piloting a big wobbly truck you probably can't see very well out of anyway.

    You might be fine with that. I would be, too. But I wouldn't put anybody else in that situation, because I'm not a violent cop-like asshole.

    The snowballers met their equal. Fuck thems all around.

  • ||

    Hipsters do stupid things, its an iron law like gravity. Still, snowballs thrown at cars on an unplowed inner city district street in snowy conditions ranks fairly low on the increased hazard scale.

  • ||

    If an unexpected "BANG" is enough to throw you out of control of your vehicle, you should never drive. People like you are the ones who end up in reservoir ditches over a simple rear-tire blow-out or bird hitting the passenger side of the windshield.

  • Cheese is My Godking||

    Yeah, snowballs can really scare the shit out of you when your driving 10 miles an hour in a 4,900 lb Hummer. Terrifying stuff.

  • kinnath||

    1) Throwing snowballs at moving vehicles is stupid and dangerous. Most people outgrow the compulsion by the time they leave high school (with occasional relapses during binge drinking in college). I guess if you grow up where snow is rare you never have the chance to work out this immature behavior.

    2) Stopping and getting out of your car to confront a kid that threw a snowball at your car is also stupid and dangerous. Getting out of your car to confront a mob with snowballs is beyond stupid -- unless you're a professional prick that carries a gun.

    3) Failing to identify yourself as a detective prior to drawing your gun and threatening the people throwing snowballs at you is worthy of official sanction and loss of income for some appropriate duration -- buy hey, he's a cop and I suppose he'll get a commendation for bravery.

    I'm just glad this wasn't a Balko post that ends with blood in the snow.

  • Cheese is My Godking||

    "Failing to identify yourself as a detective prior to drawing your gun and threatening the people throwing snowballs at you is worthy of official sanction and loss of income."

    How about being fired, loss of pension, and multiple charges of assault like anyone else that does something insane like that at work?

    Cops getting off for this bullshit perpetuates this bullshit.

    Pull a gun on an unarmed crowd. Your done. Period.

  • ||

    Maybe Detective JumpyNerves thought he was under attack by a team of Armenian hit men.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    As someone pointed out in the other thread, stop knocking over Armenian money trains and detectives won't have to worry about these situations.

  • ||

    If this guy gets any sort of severe discipline for this incident (which I'm wondering about considering how public it's become), it's going to be a travesty, considering all the cops who get off scot-free for, you know, actually shooting innocent people.

  • kinnath||

    it's going to be a travesty highlight the travesties within the system, considering all the cops who get off scot-free for, you know, actually shooting innocent people.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    +∞

    Fucking spam filter...

  • hmm||

    So punishing a misdeed is a travesty because other, worse misdeeds are not punished?

    Jesus Christ in a jello shot is that some fucked up logic. The travesty is the other cops not being brought to justice, not this asshole getting what he has coming.

  • Cheese is My Godking||

    Bullshit. He gets what he deserves. They should all get what they deserve.

    I say hooray for the ubiquity of personal camcorders on phones. Deal with the authorities, press "record."

    Eat that government.

  • The Gobbler||

    Who gives a fuck?

  • hmm||

    I don't think anyone has said it yet, but way to go Mr. Hayes. Nice work mate.

  • ||

    I'm going to withhold the kudos until we find out if Mr Hayes, who apparently was present for the incident, was dissuading his fellow snowballers from violating property rights.

  • ||

    Which property right would that be?

  • ||

    The only possible one I can think of is the right to not get snow on one's vehicle; and the possible violators: the pedestrians, and the sky.

  • ||

    Nature is not expected to respect people's rights, people are. And yes, snowballs can seriously fuck up your paint job if they're packed hard enough and thrown hard enough, or contain chunks of ice that have been melted and refrozen.

  • ||

    And that's not even taking into account the fact that they were throwing snowballs at his person after he got out of the vehicle, but before he drew the weapon.

  • hmm||

    Jesus relax dude. It was a flash mob for people throwing snowballs. Some threw snow at a car. OMG YOUR PROPERTY RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIoLATED ESCALATE TO VIoLENCE ASAP.

    He was reporting, it wasn't his place to sway mob or interfere.

    Make sure to use a ladder to get off that horse. It's pretty high.

  • ||

    I seriously doubt he was reporting. Reason.tv has no footage of the incident save that which has been provided (and heavily edited) by the snowballers themselves.

    And even so, that's ridiculous. Are you telling me that a reporter is ethically bound to allow crimes to be committed at an event he or she is reporting?

  • ||

    dear god,

    Its questionable if any crimes were even being committed. The reaction of the Maryland cop however, was disproportionate and dangerous.

  • hmm||

    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!"

    You can call Nick a liar, but I prefer to avoid the verbal beat down. Maybe just a miscommunication?

    And even so, that's ridiculous. Are you telling me that a reporter is ethically bound to allow crimes to be committed at an event he or she is reporting?

    You pull over people speeding on the road don't you? I'm not going to play the tried and true libertarian purity test for falling on the sword over retarded stupid shit in some absolutist form. Feel free to play with yourself with that.

  • ||

    50:1 odds he was there on his own time, not reporting for reason.tv. They've fallen pretty far if they're sending out reporters to cover snowball fights.

    But if reason.tv is in possession of the full video, rather than this edited version, perhaps they can post that to settle a lot of the questions over matters of fact.

  • hmm||

    I'm not going to speculate. Your premises and arguments are ass backwards to say the least. If you run around stopping wrong doers then I guess you have the moral high ground and good no you. Personally I think you're spouting bullshit, but heh I'm just a dumb redneck.

  • ||

    Consider it karma when Tulpa's kid gets arrested by a cop who pulls a gun on the kid when he/she was throwing snowballs at cars. Arrested for vandalism and reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. Then the prosecutor pulls the same bullshit argument about ice in the snowballs and scratches to paint...

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Property doesn't have rights. People do. Everytime I read something like that I feel as if I am dealing with kindergarteners...perhaps I am.

    Daddy drinks cause you cry.

  • Cheese is My Godking||

    Crazy, only in Washington D.C. can a policeman afford a tricked out Hummer.

    The video would have been much better if the crowd enveloped the parasite police officer, stripped him naked, and made him go snow streaking.

    I'm just saying.

  • kinnath||

    The story has made it to BBC now ;-)

  • ||

    OK, this really pisses me off. A story like this, which represents at most a tiny abuse by police, gets picked up all over the media just because it's quirky, while the stories of truly heinous police abuse, like Kathryn Johnston, Ryan Fredericks, Cory Maye, and the guy who got shot in Jacksonville for telling undercover cops posing as drug dealers to get off his property...those appear MAYBE once on local news and then on Reason, and that's all.

  • ||

    And don't tell me the black cop vs. mostly white crowd (and white interviewees in each of the videos I've seen) doesn't play into that dynamic. If it were a white cop surrounded by black "young adults" throwing shit at him, you can bet the Today Show would be a tad less sympathetic.

  • hmm||

    The guy that pegged the cop in the face in the video was a black guy.

  • ||

    Indeed, but the impression you get from most of the videos out there is that the snowballers were white. The people who speak on camera are all white, and the Today show in particular only shows the snowball to the face guy from behind, so you can't tell what race he is.

  • wayne||

    T, your starting to sound like Maureen Dowd. That is never a good thing.

  • ||

    That's the point--any cop, black, white, or houndstooth would NEVER have gotten out of his vehicle to confront a black mob in DC. That's why it's SOOO FUCKIN" OBVIOUS that this cop was just trying to assert his authoritah. He knew the "mob" was not dangerous, just a bunch of whiny white hippies, so he felt he could pull a gun on them. If he had actually thought there were a potential for violence, he would NEVER have confronted the crowd alone. He would have kept driving and radioed for help. If the mob had been dangerous, he could have gotten himself, innocent bystanders, and any backup hurt or killed. Any bullshit about the cop pulling his gun out because he felt unsafe is ridiculous. It's because he felt SAFE that he confronted the crowd.

  • Cheese is My Godking||

    It's easier to "sell" a story with video. It's also about a gun at a snowball fight. It's so absurd, and people can relate to it.

    Youtube is forever baby.

  • ||

    Growing up in Buffalo - the Show, the Big Time, Major league snowball country - there are rules: Buses and trucks, not cars, are the preferred target. (1) a snowball hitting the side panel of a truck or a bus window makes more noise. (2) The impact of the snowball against the bus window scares the crap out of the seated passenger. (3) Bus and truck drivers just yell at you and almost never leave their vehicle. (4) Drivers in stuck cars will give you money if you give them a shove. If not they end up stuck in more snow. (5) Never throw snowballs while wearing gloves. So when the cops catch you you can show that your gloves are dry and so they should look for the real snowball thrower.

  • Cheese is My Godking||

    Brilliant!

    I would just ad that 4,900 pound Hummer H3s are counted in the same category as a Bus up here in Minnesota.

    We would usually let the little cars go, but trucks, now those are fair game.

    For real winter fun, we'd bust out the "Winger" water balloon catapult which required 3 men to operate. Though that was more of an anti-personnel artillery piece. Hitting cars with that would be dangerous--and difficult.

  • Reformed Republican||

    I stand firmly in the "everyone in involved is an idiot" camp. The twenty-something snowball throwers were idiots, and the cop who escalated the situation was also an idiot.

  • Cheese is My Godking||

    Ah, yes. It's all pretty much the same. Throwing 3 gram snowballs at a 2 ton personnel transport is pretty much equivalent to pulling a Glock 9mm on a crowd.

  • wayne||

    Actually, it was probably a .40 cal. 9MM is so last century.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    But the idiot with a gun could have caused much more damage. As in "exit wound"-style damage.

  • ||

    Sure, but only one of them was a dangerous idiot living on the public payroll.

    -jcr

  • ||

    For the record, the 'fight' was a flash-mob type thing organized on twitter that was really fun and wasn't at all intended to target specific cars. Did someone throw snowballs at the Hummer? Probably - but there were hundreds of people there, and snowballs flying everywhere. It was a great time until the humorless cop showed up.

  • kinnath||

    . . . was a flash-mob type thing organized on twitter . . .

    Grow up dickhead

  • Cheese is My Godking||

    "Grow up dickhead"

    Hey buddy, now that the glock-brandishing snowball buster is on paper-shuffling duty there's probably an opening for the fun police.

    Merry Christmas!

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Keep him on desk-jockey detail. That's where he belongs.

  • kinnath||

    A twitter mob says "let's meet at the park and throw snowballs at each other" -- cool kids being cool or ironic -- I can't tell with youngsters anymore.

    A different twitter mob says "let's meet on the street corner and throw snowballs at cars" -- dickheads being dickheads.

  • hmm||

    Left field, it's not only a position but a state of mind.

    Where the hell did that come from? I have three accounts from people I know (only online) that live in the area and said it was a flash event.

  • ||

    Your account differs from those that were linked to by Jesse last night, which said they were specifically targeting Hummers.

  • ||

    I was driving through rural KY when about 2 lbs of snow fell from an overhanging limb onto my windshield.

    I got out and shot the shit out of that tree, and guess what? Hasn't happened since.

  • hmm||

    I took out the kids down the block. One tossed a snowball at my car. I went home suited up in the snow camo,got into the arsenal and ran a recon mission. After assessing the situation I realized I could neutralize the red headed 10 year old leader with single long range shot and cause enough disarray to bag two or three more before they all got to cover. I think I got my message across.

    While they are still in disarray and without clear leadership I am considering a door to door to eradicate the lil' fuckers. I'm in the process of assembling an entry team and prepping the CQB arms.

    lil' fuckers toss snow at me will they

  • ||

    Once again confusing the actions of nature with the actions of people. We should have a drinking game rule about that.

  • LarryA||

    For me the laugh in this whole scene is that the people of D.C. obviously never got the memo that they should be terrified of people having guns.

  • ||

    Well in the game rock-paper-scissors-gun-snowball, snowball totally freezes gun, however gun blows a hole in paper and disables scissors.

  • hmm||

    +1 for freezing gun.

    I was impressed by the same thing. The strange part was the story was running back to back against the Denmark socialist protests, and I saw no guns and lots and lots of angry protesters. Interesting contrast. (even if it is two different situations)

  • BakedPenguin||

    They have never seen them. Because the laws work so well.

  • hmm||

    Just to clarify, I wasn't endorsing either form or substance. It was just a strange visual to see large groups of people really pissed off throwing crap and pushing police with police staying relatively calm (lil' hippy beating, but who can fault anyone for that) and a DC cop pulling a gun over a snowball.

    Just a strange sort of surreal feel to seeing both images so close together.

  • ||

    If some idiot in regular ol' clothes jumps out of a regular ol' car and starts waving a gun around in my West Texas town, he's liable to get gunned down on the spot.

    Snowball fight or no.

  • ||

    Once again confusing the actions of nature with the actions of people. We should have a drinking game rule about that.

    As long as we get to add one for the They's Violatin' Muh Proppitty Raahts! refrain.

  • ||

    QFT.

    Young black men:
    If you're at a movie theater and someone steps on your foot...
    Let it slide.

    There's no use going to jail for 20 years because someone smudged your Pumas.
  • Everyone||

    And stop yelling at the screen, dumbass.

  • Bernie Goetz for Verizon||

    Can you hear me now?

  • Al Gore||

    This incident forewarns of the violence to come if we don't put a stop to climate change now.

  • ||

    I think bringing a snowball to a gun fight is worse than bringing a gun to a snowball fight, personally.

  • hmm||

    I'd bring both and neither would a sissy Glock 9mm.

    Throws nuts over shoulder and walks away.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I think Tupla must have lost a snowball fight when he was eight. Lost really, really bad.

  • Neu Mejican||

    For everyone:

    Tulpa's hundreds of comments on this topic have already been addressed adequately in the previous thread.

    J sub D|12.20.09 @ 4:45PM|#

    Got pelted with snowballs from the cool kids on the way home from school, huh? I guess that shit sticks with you a long time if you're a wuss.


    Please stop feeding this particular troll.

  • ||

    I've been contributing here longer than you have, NM, so I think the readers of the thread have enough material of mine to determine that I'm not a troll. Your comment only serves to mark you as a trader in ad hominems, and reduce your credibility.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Tulpa...

    I was using "troll" in the sense of "an incident of trolling."

    Everyone does it on occasion. But at some point, people need to stop feeding it.

    I will, in the future, attempt to attempt to keep my contributions to H&R up to the high standards you display [/sarcasm]

  • ||

    I wouldn't recommend setting overly lofty goals for yourself, NM. Baby steps, such as not trying to redefine words in every other post, would be sufficient.

  • Neu Mejican||

    See "brandish" below.

  • ||

    And if I had contributed "hundreds" of comments to these threads, which currently total about a thousand comments total, you would expect, say, at least one out of every five comments to be from me. Which is obviously not true.

    I have made a lot of comments, true, but that's mainly because only a select few of the commenters have deviated from the "bad cop terrorizes innocent citizens" party line that Reason has implicitly endorsed, and thus I have more work to do in responding to that misguided attitude.

  • The Good Fight Must Be Fought||

    (*_-)

  • ||

    (.Y.) ?

  • The True Number||

    What is the true number?
    Is it only 125, 150, 97?

    Because anything less than 200 is a reasonable number of comments to let everyone know that you feel the appropriate response to a snowball is a drawn weapon.

  • Joe M||

    Tulpa had posted about 10% of all the comments between the two threads. That's a hefty number.

  • wayne||

    I know I am late to this melee, but when a civilian unholsters a firearm that is "brandishing". You need not point it at anyone, the simple act of unholstering is brandishing.

    That law may not apply to cops, though. Cops routinely brandish their firearms in situations where they feel threatened or where they have an expectation of escalating violence.

    All of that said, I think the cop over reacted. He should not have drawn his weapon, in fact he should have stayed in his vehicle and called for help on his radio if he thought a law being broken, or just driven away. Maybe he argued with his wife over breakfast and was still pissed off, or whatever, and he was in a mood to rumble. He screwed up.

  • Fluffy||

    I think it would help clarify things for everyone arguing with Tulpa if I pointed out something very basic:

    Tulpa is not actually sticking up for the cop here. What he is sticking up for is the principle that you should be ALLOWED to brandish a weapon if someone annoys you in public.

    That's his real dog in this hunt.

    You see, in his mind he's the guy who would see someone committing some offense, and would leap from his car with his trusty six-shooter to set the situation right. Because he's SuperTulpa. In his imagination he probably gets in a few wry wisecracks while he's teaching those damn punks a lesson.

    In order to keep the world safe for the practice of using a firearm to settle minor disputes or to punish trivial rudeness or "disrespect", Tulpa is forced to defend this cop.

    You might think he's supporting the cop out of some kind of authoritarian instinct, but he's not. You see, he is in fact taking his own exaggerated libertarian position. It's just that the exaggerated libertarian position he's taking is "I should be allowed to use my gun to establish proper social protocol in public. Because I have the right to have a gun, and the right to be respected, so that gives me the right to combine those two things into one fun and fantasy-fulfilling activity."

  • ||

    It's not SuperTulpa, it's Hippo-Man. Hippos frighten me, and I figure it's time that criminals share my fear. I'd post a picture with my suit, but it's at the dry cleaners.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Fluffy,

    Nicely summarized.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Fluffy,
    I would add to this another important element. Tulpa right off the bat assumed that the snowball fight was actually a cover for an organized, leftist anti-environmental protest using violence (snowballs are weapons, afterall) to attack upstanding citizens and bring down our American way of life.

    It is WHO the cop brandished the gun AT that matters most. Since they were "hippsters" who don't respect authority, they deserved to be put in their place.

  • ||

    Perhaps it was the original eyewitness account that said they were targetting Hummers specifically.

    And you don't brandish a weapon "at" someone; indeed, the only object the gun was pointed at was the ground, which I agree needs to be put in its place.

  • Neu Mejican||

    And you don't brandish a weapon "at" someone

    Are you going to go with a semantic argument?

    Really?

  • Fluffy||

    I think I also should say that, in some situations, I'd actually AGREE WITH my characterization of Tulpa's position. I think that if you have a right to have a firearm, you in many situations should have the right to let people KNOW you have a firearm, if only so they will know where a violent confrontation is likely to end up.

    But when a police officer employs his weapon, that's a use [or misuse] of state power. I'm actually a crazy enough libertarian that I think the police should be MORE constrained in their use of their power than ordinary citizens are in the use of their rights.

  • ||

    He wasn't exercising any state power. He didn't show his badge or identify himself as a cop until the other cops arrived (which, amazingly, some of the commenters are criticizing him for).

  • Neu Mejican||

    [sigh]

  • monolith||

    I fear escalation. Soon people will be bringing rocket launchers to snowball fights.

  • ||

    You don't see many Iraqis throwing snowballs at tanks, do you? That should tell you something.

  • monolith||

    no snow in Iraq?

  • ||

    Well, yeah. But that doesn't speak to my larger point.

    I mean, they don't throw sandballs either!

  • Ska||

    Is that like an Iranian tea-bag?

  • ||

    If you want a zone of inviolable personal comfort, STAY HOME.

  • ||

    Those who wish to throw snow at people are free to roam wherever they please, but those who don't want to be hit by snowballs thrown at them are told to stay home.

    Very libertarian.

  • Neu Mejican||

    If approaching an intersection filled with hundreds of people throwing snowballs, assume your car might be hit.

    If walking by said intersection, assume you might be hit.

    If either of these possibilities frightens or angers you, adjust your route.

  • BeesInTheBrain||

    Adjust your route? How do you adjust your route if you are "approaching the intersection"? Unless by adjust your route you mean take to the sidewalk and run them over.

  • Neu Mejican||

    One of life's great challenges is paying attention to your surroundings so that you have enough time to respond to potential threats. I am sure this was visible from more than a block away.

  • ||

    That's not the point. You're saying that I, law-abiding citizen attempting to use a public sidewalk, have to take a longer route to my destination, in inclement weather mind you, so that a bunch of people can have a fucking snowball fight in the middle of the street.

    The right of innocent passers-by to use the sidewalk without risking snowballs thrown at them, easily trumps the right of the flash mob to throw snowballs at people. If you want to have a late childhood, there are parks for that shit. I can't believe I'm even having to spell this out.

  • The Wine Commonsewer (TWC)||

    I would be pissed if somebody hit my truck with a snowball. I might give them the finger or roll down the window and tell them to fuck themselves. But I wouldn't stop and get out and threaten anyone with a fucking gun. Get real.

  • The Wine Commonsewer (TWC)||

    .....and if Detective Baylor was Citizen Baylor, he'd be spending his Christmas in jail

  • ||

    Proportional response goddamnit!!!

    Another thing, if he was truly concerned about public safety, WHY THE FUCK DID HE LEAVE HIS HUMMER PARKED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET!!

  • ||

    They throw snow into the street, and we fall back.

    They hurl snowballs at random cars in poor driving conditions, and we fall back.

    They pack snow tight and chuck it at specific vehicles they don't like, and then pelt any drivers who get out of the vehicle, and we fall back.

    Not this time! The line must be drawn HEEYAH! This far, no farther!

  • ||

    All I saw on the video was Open Carry in DC. Don't hate. Celebrate.

  • ||

    Do you work part-time at a medical school, Tulpa?

    With skin that thin, I think you might be a valuable teaching aid in anatomy class.

  • anarch||

    I wonder how many of the individuals throwing snowballs at passing cars and at an approaching pedestrian, gun or no gun, would have dared do so alone.

  • The Wine Commonsewer (TWC)||

    there is some question as to whether anyone actually threw a snowball at the cop's Hummer or if he was merely caught in the cross fire.

  • anarch||

    Didn't yesterday's thread include the testimony of a snowballer who said that was the fourth or fifth Hummer they'd targeted?

    And I thought we also saw the cop hit by a snowball.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I've been contributing here longer than you have, NM

    I would like to point out that, although I can't be sure it was before or after I adopted the handle Neu Mejican, I recall when Tulpa's comments started showing up here.

    So, either he switched handles, as I did (darn my common given name), or this is inaccurate.

  • The Wine Commonsewer (TWC)||

    This comment was left at TWC's blog a little while ago:

    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.

  • ||

    Just wondering--If the snowballs had been thrown at the detective while he was in an unmarked police vehicle, would he have gone all commando on the crowd, or would he have just stopped and rationally told them to not throw snowballs at cars, or would he have even ignored him? Because if his actions had been different, his (over)reaction wouldn't have been about protection of property (public), or the possible dangers of snowballs, but the cop wanting to assert his authoritah.

  • ||

    So, even white people hate cops. I wonder if the white officers would have been so couteous with young blacks.

  • Abercrombie and Fitch||

    Good!

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  • mbt||

    hi,
    everybody, take your time and a little bit.

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