We perish because we know not… #TLENews
A video that appears to catch a New Rochelle police officer pointing a gun at a group of teenagers who were having a snowball fight — and went viral on the Internet — is not what it appears to be, cops said.
“There was no snowball fight,” New Rochelle Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Murphy told the Daily News, calling the video a piece of “clever mischief.”
He said police were responding to a 911 call around 4 p.m. Friday that a teenager standing in a group of six near the Heritage Houses had pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at another person.
“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.
But the video paints a very different picture of what happened.
“They were having a snowball fight,” the woman recording the incident says. “This group of guys was having a snowball fight and now a cop has a gun on them.”
“There was no snowball fight,” he said.
A high-ranking source agreed with Murphy.
“The video looks terrible, but it’s completely out of context,” the source said. “It’s a completely different incident than it appears from that snippet. There’s clearly a lot of misunderstanding. The record of the 911 call will by itself illustrate what was going on.”
Officials said they will not release a recording of the 911 call, but may release a transcript of the call.
“I’m sure that if I release it (the recording), there are people in the neighborhood who will identify the (caller),” Murphy said. “We depend on the public to give us information. If you violate that (trust), then what do you tell people? We know what happened, I know what happened and that’s it.”
New Rochelle Councilman Jared Rice, who in the past has raised questions about police training, took to Twitter Sunday to address the incident.
“Just heard from NRPD re the gun video. They say that there was a call of someone w/a gun and that person ran. That’s where the video begins,” Rice tweeted.
“Although there appears to not have been a snowball fight and instead reports of a gun, there are many questions that still need answers,” he continued.
The story has gone viral and generated so much traffic that the “host company thought (the) site was under attack,” according to the outlet’s Twitter account.
New York Daily News