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Cop Sharply Criticized for Pulling Gun During Snowball Fight Game

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By Kamika Dunlap on December 24, 2009 9:15 AM

Metropolitan D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier sharply criticized the actions of the veteran off-duty police officer for brandishing a gun during a good-natured snowball fight game.

Chief Cathy Lanier watched the videos that were widely circulated on the Internet of the off-duty plainclothes police officer pull his gun after snowballs hit his private car after a record snowfall.

CBS/Associated Press reports that off-duty police detective Michael Baylor must give up his gun and his badge.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier on Monday called the officer's actions "totally inappropriate."

"Let me be very clear in stating that I believe the actions of the officer were totally inappropriate!," Lanier said in a statement. "In no way should he have handled the situation in this manner."

Michael Baylor has been placed on desk duty until an investigation is complete.

Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham said Baylor's detective badge and weapon have been withdrawn. Michael Baylor has more than 25 years of experience and a good reputation, the chief said.

As previously discussed, the incident occurred during  DC Snowpocalypse Guerrilla Snowball Fight 2009, where young people were participating in a little restless indulgence.

Hundreds of people had gathered for the snowball fight game after organizers used social networks such as Twitter to advertise it.

At one point, the crowd began to chant: "Don't bring a gun to a snowball fight!"

Union chief Kristopher Baumann said it's questionable whether Detective Baylor will get a fair and unbiased investigation by the department.

Police have at least two videos of the incident. Currently, they are working to obtain additional material and will continue to speak to witnesses.

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