A video that appears to show a New Rochelle police officer point a gun at a group of young men after an alleged snowball fight is not what it seems, officers said Sunday. Officials said police were responding to a 911 call about a gun.
"There was no snowball fight," New Rochelle Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Murphy told the New York Daily News. He said the video was a piece of "clever mischief."
The two officers were responding to a 911 call that they got Friday around 4 p.m. from a woman, who said that she saw a young man pull a gun from his waistband and point it at another young man at the Hartley Houses apartments, Murphy said.
"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.
Officer Matthew Glass ran after the man, but he got away and remains at large, Murphy said.
Meanwhile, Sgt. Joseph Salerno frisked two of the five remaining men, who all obeyed him when he directed them to get on the ground, the deputy commissioner said.
The 31-second video shows Salerno commanding the men to the ground and frisking them.
An officer says "don't move" and "don't fucking move, guys," and then after a cut in the video a woman who is off-camera is heard saying, "This group of guys was having a snowball fight and now the cop has a gun on them."
Officials said they will not release a recording of the 911 call over concerns of identifying the caller, but they may release a transcript.
This video comes in the wake of concern over police use of force, after a grand jury in Missouri decided not to indict a white officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen and another grand jury in New York did not indict a white officer for the chokehold death of a black man, which has led to widespread protests across the country.
New Rochelle Councilman Jared Rice, who raised concerns in the past about police tactics, said on Twitter he listened to the 911 call and it clarified the situation:
Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Honolulu.
Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at email@example.com.
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