City Paper is not for tourists
City Desk has identified the D.C. Police detective who brandished his weapon during Saturday’s controversial snowball fight at 14th and U Streets NW. According to two D.C. Police officials, the gun-toting cop is Detective Mike Baylor. Baylor apparently works out of the Second District police station covering everything from property to gun crimes. At one point in his career, he worked homicides.
According to Assistant Chief Peter Newsham, the officer has been placed on desk duty pending an investigation into the incident. Internal Affairs will be conducting the inquiry. Newsham says that Baylor has yet to be questioned about the incident.
“We’re looking at any potential police misconduct,” Newsham says. “It should be completed within a few weeks…. We have not taken a formal statement from him.”
Newsham says that officers should only draw their weapons in cases where a citizen’s life is in jeopardy. A snowball fight would not qualify as such a case, he says.
One police official had harsh words for both Baylor and the snowballers. “There’s no way to justify him taking out his gun without more information,” says the official. “What the detective did was clearly wrong. We should sanction him.”
“He lost his mind,” the official goes on to say. “You don’t want an angry guy with a gun.”
But the police official adds that the crowd—-judging from the videos—-were technically engaging in disorderly conduct. “What they did was a breach of the peace,” the official says. “If they wanted to have the biggest snowball fight in the city…14th and U was not a place for that.”
Philip K. Eure, the executive director of the Office of Police Complaints, says that his office has received a few inquiries on the incident. “If the allegations are true, we would obviously take those very seriously,” Eure says. “We would consider that to be a matter of serious interest.”
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier issued a statement calling Det. Baylor’s actions “inappropriate.”
*photo courtesy of Matthew Bradley.