Police in New Rochelle, NY, said on Sunday that a viral video showing a cop with a gun drawn on teenagers after an alleged snowball fight was not what it appeared to be.
The website TalkoftheSound published two 15-second videos on Saturday showing a police officer with his gun drawn, pointing it at a group of teens.
“They were having a snowball fight,” the woman recording the incident can be heard saying. “And now, the cop has a gun on them.”
New Rochelle Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Murphy on Sunday told the New York Daily News that the call was justified.
“There was no snowball fight,” Murphy told the Daily News, calling the video “clever mischief.”
“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,” the commissioner said.
Murphy told the Daily News that a different officer, not visible in the video, pursued the person who ran but was unable to catch up. The teenagers stopped by the officer on-camera were “compliant,” Murphy said.
The commissioner’s statement appears to be different than what the city told the TalkoftheSound website, however. The site updated its post on Sunday evening with a statement from Office of the City Manager, which said that the officer was responding to a call about a person with a gun at the scene.
“New Rochelle Police were responding to a 911 emergency call reporting a man with gun at that location. The claim was unsustained,” it read. “The incident will be reviewed by the department.”
Mayor Noam Bramson stood by police in a statement emailed to TPM on Monday.
“What looks at first like a dramatic example of Police overreach turns out instead to be a reasonable response to a fast-moving, unpredictable, and potentially very dangerous situation,” Bramson’s statement read, adding that the incident is still being reviewed closely by the police.
TalkoftheSound said it later followed up by locating the call that led to the standoff over a police scanner. The site traced the call to 3:42 p.m on Friday, after a complainant (whom the site says refused to be identified) reported that a young black male was brandishing a handgun while walking with a group.
This post has been updated.