Police Abuse

"Snowball Fight/Gun" Video is Misleading, Says New Rochelle PD

Police Commissioner claims officers were responding to a 911 call reporting a teen with a gun.

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Yesterday, I noted a video depicting Sgt. Joseph Salerno, a New Rochelle, NY police officer, pointing his gun at a kneeling teenager after what a witness described was a "snowball fight." New Rochelle police did not immediately comment on the incident which happened last Friday, but today, NRPD Commissioner Anthony Murphy told the New York Daily News that the 30 second video clip is "clever mischief" which took the incident out of context.

Searching for context.
Youtube

On the video, an off-camera witness says, "this group of guys was having a snowball fight and now the cop has a gun on them." Murphy denied there was ever a snowball fight and explained that officers were on the scene responding to a 911 call of a teenager who pulled a gun out of his waistband and pointed it at someone. 

From the Daily News:

"We dispatched several cars to the area. Police officers got out of their cars and one of the individuals bent down, adjusted something in his waistband and ran," Murphy said.

As one officer took off after the suspect, another remained with the five teens who did not run, Murphy said.

"Don't f—–g move, guys," the cop shouts in one of two clips that were sent to the Talk of the Sound.

Two teens can be seen in the video kneeling with their hands in the air. The officer frisks both of them before ordering them to stand up.

"The group was compliant," Murphy said. "(At the same time) the other cop is in foot pursuit of the suspect that had the gun. The suspect runs into an apartment house and into an unknown apartment."

Police did not catch the suspect.

Murphy concedes that the video "looks terrible," but claims the 911 call provides clarity on how Sgt. Salerno came to be pointing his gun at a group of unarmed teens. He adds that the NRPD has no plans to release the recording of the call, for fear of reprisals against the person who made the complaint, but that they are considering releasing a transcript.

New Rochelle councilman Jared Rice was initially critical of the police response, but after hearing the recording of the 911 call, says he is "satisfied with the explanation of why the gun was pulled out." Still, Rice maintains reservations about the language Sgt. Salerno used and questioned whether proper protocol was followed. 

Rice told The Guardian, "Any time you see a gun pointed at somebody it's disturbing because we know how serious that can be." He added, "In New Rochelle, as in many communities, we need to have better models of engagement between police and particularly boys of color…I think that is absolutely necessary and I know that there is training that can be taken to accomplish just that."

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  1. If you only knew the truth that we sadly cannot reveal to you.

    1. Aw, c’mon, you can totally trust them? When has a police officer ever lied?

      1. for reals, it’s totally cereal.

      2. There are totally WMD in Iraq – no we can’t show you the evidence because it would put people’s lives in danger.

        We’ve totally stopped a bunch of terrorists attacks – no we can’t show you the evidence because it would put people’s lives in danger.

        We totally saved your arse by shooting that 12 year old boy. No we couldn’t have stopped to check the situation out, it would have put people’s lives in danger.

  2. I know that there is training that can be taken to accomplish just that

    As long as there’s no accountability for cops when they do bad things, no amount of training is going to matter.

    1. Not quite. If one were to employ operant conditioning, through the liberal use of negative reinforcement and the proper psychotropic drugs, a behavioral change can be embedded into the psyche of law enforcement personnel.

        1. Ah, you’re familiar with our work.

  3. “The group was compliant,” Murphy said

    We already knew that, Murph, they’re still alive.

  4. Police did not catch the suspect.

    No kidding.

  5. He added, “In New Rochelle, as in many communities, we need to have better models of engagement between police and particularly boys of color

    Firestorm approaching in 5, 4, 3…

    1. Actually, New Ro has a genuine color-divide issue.

      The north end of the city is a very-wealthy white suburb – the other half is a very-poor black mini-city

      the cops have to deal with both

      If you saw the movie “catch me if you can”, the beginning of that film is set in New Rochelle.

      When I was in high-school, i worked at an REI store located ‘downtown’, where most of the time we seemed to be trying to dissuade shoplifters rather than help people buy climbing equipment. the bars on North Avenue are (were?) also famous for being particularly ‘open minded’ in terms of drinking age.

      On the thug-scale, it ranks far lower than say, ‘south philly’, but more criminal than Manhattan.

  6. So, cops can come up on what appear to be unarmed people, but because he’s got a call that says that someone, somewhere, *might* be armed, he’s justified in treating everyone as a deadly threat?

    And this is considered acceptable to these people?

    1. The best part is that they are trained to shoot to kill. It’s pretty much de rigueur in private citizen firearm training that you don’t point guns at people unless you’re prepared to shoot. Since shoot = kill to cops, they were prepared to kill kids throwing snowballs.

    2. of course it is. the alternative is a beating at best and being murdered at worst.

    3. And this is considered acceptable to these people?

      If the people you are referring to are the cops, then yes. It’s acceptable to them to kill an unarmed guy for selling single cigarettes, or to get a young guy murdered for selling a small amount of weed. I could go on all night.

      1. what does he mean “these people”?

        1. Be careful, or cops will end up being a protected class under anti-discrimination laws along with all of their other special privileges.

      2. No, I mean the city council and the people who keep voting those idiots back into office.

        I already know the cops are a lost cause as far as internal reform goes.

  7. 911 Caller: There’s a man waving a gun around threatening people!

    Operator: We’ll send an officer.

    911 Caller: No,no, no, you idiot. It is an officer. Can’t you tell him to go back to the station and leave those kids alone?

  8. So then the law enforcement professional isn’t as profane and overweight as the video makes it appear?

  9. So, what they are saying is, they already knew who the guy with the gun was, and he ran off, so . . . they pointed guns at a bunch of other people they had no reason to suspect of being armed, and frisked them?

    And this is supposed to make it all OK?

    And, for the cherry on top, the one guy they were after gets away. Maybe because only one cop went after the armed suspect (yeah, good idea there) while all the other cops hang around with the people who aren’t suspected of anything.

    1. Officer safety.

  10. We won’t release the call because our officers keep laughing while making it.

  11. He adds that the NRPD has no plans to release the recording of the call, for fear of reprisals against the person who made the complaint, but that they are considering releasing a transcript.

    What a duplicitous cocksucker.

  12. “He adds that the NRPD has no plans to release the recording of the call, for fear of reprisals against the person who made the complaint”

    No system can function without proper feedback

  13. I think about the Rules of Gun Safety and sadly shake my head at cops. Turn on the television and C.O.P.S. is probably on somewhere, and you’ll see officers using their firearms for intimidation. Like it’s a game. Yet the Rules of Gun Safety clearly state that you don’t point your firearm at anything you’re not willing to destroy. So when a cop runs up to a bunch of children with his gun drawn, or orders a pregnant woman out of her car at gunpoint, according to those Rules he must be ready and willing to kill. Sickening. Guns are not toys. We all know that. Yet cops cheerfully point them at anyone. Anytime. With intent to kill.

    Disgusting.

    1. Almost all the gun handling in movies and on TV is cringe inducing.

    2. Like you said, Officer Safety. It is the Prime Directive of all cop actions.

  14. “(At the same time) the other cop is in foot pursuit of the suspect that had the gun. ”

    That cops *assumed* had a gun.

    1. one of the individuals bent down, adjusted something in his waistband and ran

      He *had* to have had a gun! What other explanation could there *possibly* be?

      1. He just got hit in the balls with a snowball?

  15. Haha. Some of you ignoramuses crack me up. Another example of Reason having the journalistic integrity tantamount to that of Rolling Stone and you still try to make nonsensical cases. There is plenty of police corruption and abuse to write about. However, when you’re caught in the wrong, admit it and move forward.

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