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Did a New York Cop Really Pull a Gun on Kids Having a Snowball Fight?

Police in the New York City suburb of New Rochelle are disputing the narrative of a viral video purportedly showing an officer losing his cool.
February 2, 2015, 6:50pm
Photo via Flickr user bootbearwdc

Police in New Rochelle, New York, who were responding to a 9-1-1 call on Friday ended up pulling a gun on some teenagers. In a video posted on Liveleak, an officer can be heard yelling, "Don't fucking move, guys!" at a gaggle of teens kneeling on the snowy pavement. Five were subsequently detained.

"They were having a snowball fight," the woman filming the incident claims in the video as the boys are frisked. "This group of guys was having a snowball fight and now a cop has a gun on them."

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But New Rochelle Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Murphy told the Daily News that the video, which has since gone viral, isn't nearly as twisted as it seems. Although some news outlets previously reported the cops were responding to the snowball fight itself, Murphy claims that's not the case. Instead, he says cops were on the lookout for an armed teenager when the showdown ensued.

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

Not only that, but the officers say there wasn't even a snowball fight.

A couple of things are suspicious about the cops' version of events, however. For starters, the kid who supposedly ran away was never caught. And the police haven't released the 9-1-1 call that would corroborate their side of the story. They told the Daily News that they're considering releasing a transcript, but are worried someone might recognize the caller's voice and retaliate against his or her snitching.

"The video looks terrible, but it's completely out of context," another police source told the paper. "It's a completely different incident than it appears from that snippet. There's clearly a lot of misunderstanding. The record of the 9-1-1 call by itself will illustrate what was going on."

Whether this video resulted from mischievous editing or misconduct on behalf of the police, New Rochelle cops are getting a generous dose of internet-fueled outrage that their brethren in New York City are intimately familiar with.

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