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New Rochelle Police Draw Guns on Black Youths over Snow Ball Fight NSFW

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New Rochelle Police Draw Guns on Black Youths over Snow Ball Fight NSFW

January 31, 2015 - 18:18
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NRPD Officer Draws Weapon on Black Youths in New Rochelle

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UPDATED WITH SCANNER TRAFFIC AUDIO FROM NEW ROCHELLE POLICE DEPARTMENT (Broadcastify)

UPDATED WITH OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF 911 CALL TO NEW ROCHELLE POLICE DEPARTMENT (City of New Rochelle)

See below...

"ORIGINAL" VIDEO FROM [No Label @_KingMalcolm ] FACEBOOK HERE IN TWO PARTS (a bit better resolution)

New Rochelle Cops pull guns out and frisk black kids having a snowball fight Part 1
New Rochelle Cops pull guns out and frisk black kids having a snowball fight Part 2

NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Talk of the Sound has obtained copies of two video clips posted on social media that appear to show a New Rochelle Police officer draw his firearm and aim at two youths kneeling in the snow after police responded to calls of a disturbance which one witness described as a snow ball fight.

New Rochelle City officials did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Unofficially, two reliable sources are telling Talk of the Sound that police on the scene that day have said they were called to the scene based on a report of a person with a gun. It is worth mentioning here that it has been the policy of the New Rochelle Police Department for the past two years not to respond to requests for information from Talk of the Sound, to allow Talk of the Sound to participate in daily press briefing or attend press conferences such as the one in November after Operation City Sweeper II. So, Talk of the Sound has no way to obtain any official comment on this matter.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Talk of the Sound received an official reply Sunday evening from the Office of the City Manager not NRPD: "New Rochelle Police were responding to a 911 emergency call reporting a man with gun at that location. The claim was unsustained. The incident will be reviewed by the department."

Talk of the Sound intends to obtain the police radio traffic and records under a Freedom of Information Law request on Monday and will publish the results.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We have since obtained the audio of the scanner traffic, it is linked below with notes.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We have since obtained a transcript of the 911 call, it is linked below with notes.

h/t @_KingMalcolm for sending the video to Talk of the Sound, h/t to @WattsWorld which posted the video online.

The first video picks up the action in the middle of things so it is not clear from the video what transpired beforehand. The video shows an NRPD officer using obscene language, ordering the already-kneeling youths to remain down. The officer is holding his firearm with both hands, pointed directly at one of the youths. He then approaches the young man, briefly frisks him with his left hand while holding his firearm in his right hand.

The second video clip shows police telling the youths to get up and move along. If there was a gun on the scene it is not apparent from the video.

Talk of the Sound is working to identify the exact details of the incident which reportedly occurred earlier this week.

Wednesday, after New Rochelle received a heavy snowfall during Winter Storm Juno
Location is in vicinity of Lincoln Avenue and Hemingway Avenue

EDITOR'S NOTE: We have since learned that the event took place Friday afternoon at about 3:42 PM at Horton Avenue and DeWitt Place. The story has been updated here and below.

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and Council Member Jared Rice have been raising the issue of police training in the context of the Eric Garner and Michael Brown grand jury decisions. Rice has asked that Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll consider issuing body cameras.

If you have further information please call or text 914-325-4616 or email [email protected]

UPDATE 2/1/15 9 AM: It has been almost 24 hours without any official response from City Officials or the New Rochelle Police Department in New Rochelle, NY.

Our story on a New Rochelle police officerdrawing his weapon on black youths in New Rochelle who were reportedly engaged in a snowball fight prior to the arrival of police, has gone viral in a big way.

We know his name of the police officer but are withholding it at this time. We will says that he is a Superior Officer (i.e., Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain) and not an inexperienced officer as some have speculated.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The officers name has been made public and so we disclose now here that his name is Sgt. Joseph Salerno.

The story lit up Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. Talk of the Sound received over 77,000 requests for the story within a matter of minutes causing our site to be shut down by our web hosting provider who believed Talk of the Sound was experiencing a Denial of Service attack; it took about 7 hours to get the site transitioned to a more powerful server, implement a CDN solution and go live.

For readers who are new to Talk of the Sound and not clear why we do not have information from the New Rochelle Police Department, we have been banned by New Rochelle Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll from attending daily press briefings, press conferences, or otherwise getting answers to questions in person, over the telephone or email.

Most recently, the NRPD held a well-attended press conference following a large drug raid. Commissioner Carroll stationed a police officer in the lobby of Police Headquarters with orders to deny Talk of the Sound entry to “any secured areas in the building”. The press conference was held in a “secure area” and so Talk of the Sound was effectively barred from the press conference. Carroll later claimed that he did not allow Talk of the Sound into the press conference because Talk of the Sound did not have “press credentials”. Talk of the Sound pointed out to the Commissioner that our reporters do carry press credentials issued by Talk of the Sound, that there is no government agency in New Rochelle or Westchester County that issues press credentials, that no one asked for our press credentials and that most of the reporters in the press conference did not have any government issued press credentials (a few from New York City had NYPD press credentials).

This has gone on for years to some degree but became overt two years ago after Talk of the Sound wrote a series of stories on corruption in the department.

As a result of the refusal of the New Rochelle Police Department banning Talk of the Sound we have no official time of the incident. We will not have one until we are able to file a Freedom of Information request on Monday (the Captain who handles FOIL requests typically works “normal hours” during the week)

A preliminary review of the scanner traffic on the date and time provided by our source — Wednesday afternoon, after school let out — has not resulted in identifying any dispatch call for this incident. We intend to widen our search. The video is shot in daylight and after a heavy snowfall which indicates after Tuesday’s snow storm but before Friday evening, some time during daylight hours. After we complete a review for Wednesday, we will listen to Thursday, then Friday. This will take time but allow us to draw a conclusion as to what information police received prior to arriving on scene.

UPDATE 2/1/15 3:30 PM;

After listening to almost the entire day on Wednesday, we learned the incident was Friday after school. We picked up the audio at about 3:42 PM. It runs until about 4:04 PM. The audio includes the initial dispatch of a woman having called in a report on a Male/Black with a black handgun.

AUDIO FILE: NRPD Scanner Traffic 2015-0130 from 342PM to 404PM

The call comes in at about 3:42 p.m, a report that a Male/Black in a blue jacket brandished a handgun. That he was part of a group of 6 Male/Blacks walking on Lee Archer Drive (Heritage Homes) towards 51 or 81 Winthrop, towards the construction site where the next phase of Heritage Homes is under construction. Police respond and one of the youths in the group runs. There is some confusion as to the description of the person reported to have brandished a weapon (the complainant later refuses to be identified or contacted), Several minutes later an officer can be heard saying "Don't Fucking Move" which matches up the bystander video and places that video within the context of what turned into a police chase on foot of a suspect matching the description of the people ordered to kneel on the ground. The people kneeling are described as "complaint" and released. Police lose track of the suspects and put out a BOLO for a Male/Black 5' 7" Dark Skin, Beige Pants, blue denim jacket with beige trim, black hoodie, last seen making a right on Horton Avenue from DeWiitt Place.

New Rochelle Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Murphy issued a statement to the New York Daily News:

“There was no snowball fight”, Murphy said the video was “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 group was compliant…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.”

Murphy also gave a statement to the Journal News. He said that when the officers arrived on scene, one young man crouched and put his hand to his waist before running off.

"This guy makes a move and the officers draw their guns. This happened within seconds."

New Rochelle City Manager Chuck Strome gave a statement to the New York Post. He said the incident was not sparked by a snowball fight, that the cops “acted appropriately”, that there was no reason to investigate the matter.

“The video shows the officer securing the area. They were just making sure everybody was OK in the area, right now, it doesn’t appear to be anything that we have to look at much deeper. We’re looking into the matter, but I believe the police acted appropriately."

A second unnamed source, a “”high-ranking source” also spoke to the Daily News.

“The video looks terrible, but it’s completely out of context. 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.”

The Daily News was told that the NRPD will not release a recording of the 911 call for fear of identifying the called but will release a transcript.

UPDATE 2/2 4:00 PM: There is still no transcript of the 911 call available but Talk of the Sound is told that it is "in process".

The Mayor and Council Member Jared Rice do not appear to be on the same page with the City Manager and the New Rochelle Police Department:

Mayor Noam Bramson, in an email statement to Talking Points Memo, said “the incident is still being reviewed closely by the police”.

City Manager Charles B. Strome tells Talk of the Sound that Deputy Commissioner Anthony Murphy has completed a police department review of the incident.

UPDATE: 2/5 11:40 AM Through persistent effort, Talk of the Sound has now obtained a transcript of the 911 call from the City of New Rochelle.

PDF FILE: NRPD 911 Call Transcript (Official) 2015-0130, call begins about 3:40 PM

In the official NRPD transcript for EV#4992-12 on January 30, 2015, Community Service Officer Kraft takes a call from a woman within the Heritage Homes apartments. She reports a group of 6 youths walking on Lee Archer Drive towards the area of the construction site for Phase II of the Heritage Homes development, crossing onto Winthrop Avenue.

The caller described herself as being frightened. She is unable to recall a description of any of the other five youths. She describes a Male/Black, about 16 years old, dark skin, about 5’5” to 5’7” wearing a black hoodie, a red and tan coat and pants that are red and white with a mix of colors.

Police chase a suspect described by police as Male/Black 5' 7" dark skin, beige pants, blue denim jacket with beige trim, black hoodie, last seen making a right on Horton Avenue from DeWitt Place.

There are significant descprepencies between the 911 Caller’s description of the suspect and that put out by the NRPD.

  • black hoodie v. black hoodie
  • red and tan coat v. blue denim jacket with beige trim
  • red and white pants v. beige pants

Nowhere in the 911 transcript or in the police radio scanner traffic does the witness or the police describe anyone kneeling down and adjusting their waist band before getting up and running from police.

Heritage Homes has surveillance cameras which might well have recorded the 6 youths walking down Lee Archer Boulevard which might then be used to verify the claims made by the 911 caller, identify who pulled out a gun, who the gun was aimed at. No such video tape has been made available.

UPDATE: 2/5 5:40 PM

At her request through a family friend (Beth Acocella), Talk of the Sound is publishing this statement from the wife of Sgt. Salerno, the officer depicted in the video drawing his weapon.

Facebook/Lisa Congello-Salerno:I had to wait for the Police Dept to put out the official report of a man with a gun and the press release before commenting. These are members of the Critical Incident Unit. Hence the term critical. These officers would not respond to a call of a snow ball fight nor would they care too. What's disturbing is that the video is edited. It doesn't represent the facts or the particulars. It doesn't show the officers walking over to the group trying to engage in voluntary compliant conversation before one suspect turns away and runs. The repeated orders to stop, don't move before the louder command of don't fucking move guys. The video doesn't show the other officer giving chase nor does it show that after the pat down, they engage in conversation and are explained by the police why it is necessary and important that they all complied with the exception of the suspected gunman. This is also a community that is credited for providing good accurate information to the police when they do call the police. Every call is always taken seriously but a gun call, safety is paramount including that of the officer. I'll leave off by saying this, you should not be overly concerned with the police. New Rochelle Police have a great community public relationship. What you should be concerned with are those that intentionally misrepresented the facts. Those elected officials that want to paint an inappropriate picture and intentionally create a racial divide among our cops and the people they serve. These cops are the ones living in these neighbors, eating at the same restaurants, shopping at the same stores and engaging in everyday conversations with members of the community. Be concerned with those that have a political agenda rather than those that are here to keep you safe.
Like · Reply · 26 · February 2 at 11:13am

Here is a list of some of the articles published from around the web:

WPIX-TV: New Rochelle police officer holds teens at gunpoint

CROOKS AND LIARS: Police Appear To Draw Guns On Black Kids Throwing Snowballs

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: 'There was no snowball fight': Video showing New Rochelle police officer pulling gun on teens not what it seems: cops

RAW STORY: New Rochelle police officer holds teens at gunpoint over a snowball fight

REDDIT: Officer draws weapon responding to a snowball fight in New Rochelle, NY : videos

FARK: They bring a snowball? You bring a gun. It's the New Rochelle way

LIVE LEAK: Police Draw Guns after responding to reports of Snowball Fight in New Rochelle, NY

9 NEWS (SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Cop pulls gun on teens 'having a snowball fight'

JOURNAL NEWS: New Rochelle cops: Gun video is misleading

FOX NEWS: Shocking Video: Cop Holds Snowball Fighters At Gunpoint; ‘Don’t F*ing Move, Guys’

METRO (UK): Teens held at gunpoint by police officer for ‘having a snowball fight’

THE ROOT: N.Y. Cop Draws Gun on Black Youths to Halt Snowball Fight

REASON: Suburban NY Cop Points Gun at Kneeling Teens After Snowball Fight

GLOBAL GRIND: Officer Holds Teens At Gunpoint Over A Snowball Fight

RING OF FIRE RADIO: Another Poorly Trained Cop Holds A Gun On Teens For Snowball Fight; We Must Rebuild

ABOVE TOP SECRET: New Rochelle Police Officer Points Gun at Kids Having Snowball Fight… Not The Onion

NEW YORK POST: Cop pulls gun on teens having a snowball fight

DEMOCRATIC UNDERGROUND: Police officer draws his weapon to end snowball fight

THE INDEPENDENT (UK): Video shows New York police officer 'pulling gun on youngsters playing with snowballs'

LIBERATION (France): New York : un policier sort son arme face à une bataille de boules de neige

FIOS 1 NEWS: Police officer draws gun on teens allegedly having snowball fight in New Rochelle

PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT A CRIME: New York Cop Pulls Gun on Teens Having Snowball Fight

NBC/THE GRIO: NY cop holds black teens at gunpoint over snowball fight

UK DAILY MAIL: Freeze! Moment cop pulls his gun on teens 'armed with snowballs'

GOTHAMIST: Westchester Cop Draws Gun On Teens For Snowball Fight

VICE NEWS: Video Claims to Show Cop Aiming Gun at Kids After Snowball Fight

BIZ PAC REVIEW: Cop holds snowball fighters at gunpoint; ‘don’t f*ing move, guys’

UPROXX: A Police Officer In Rochelle, New York Pulled His Gun On Two Guys For Having A Snowball Fight

DAILY VOICE: Video Appears To Show New Rochelle Police Drawing Guns Over Snowball Fight

TOVIMA (Greece): Νέα Υόρκη: Αστυνομικός σημάδεψε εφήβους επειδή έπαιζαν χιονοπόλεμο

TALKING POINTS MEMO: New York Cops: No, Our Officer Didn't Draw A Gun On A Snowball Fight

FOX 2 NEWS (St. Louis, MO): Officer pulls guns on teens after “snowball fight”

DRUDGE RETORT: Cop Pulls Gun on People Having a Snowfight

TIME: Police Say They Didn’t Pull Guns Over Teen Snowball Fight

HAMLET HUB: New Rochelle Police Draw Gun on Black Youth

THE GUARDIAN (UK): ’Snowball fight is pretty much myth': police say video not what it appears

INQUISITR: Watch As A Police Officer Pulls Gun On Teens Armed With Snowballs

DAILY KOS: NY Cop Pulls Gun on Black Youths Having a Snowball Fight

PATCH: New Rochelle Police Officer Seen Holding Young Men at Gunpoint

COUNTER CURRENT NEWS: Cop Pulls Gun On Teens Having Snowball Fight

INFOWARS: New York Cop Pulls Gun On Teens Having Snowball Fight

DAILY VOICE: Viral Video Of Police Being Taken Out Of Context, Says New Rochelle Mayor

NEWS 12: New Rochelle PD: Viral video not as it seems

WPIX-11: ‘There was no snowball fight': New Rochelle police contest story behind video

CBS NEWS: Police: Video of officer pointing gun at "snowball fight" misleading

GAZETTA (Greece) Σοκ στη Νέα Υόρκη: Αστυνομικός σημαδεύει με όπλο εφήβους επειδή... έπαιζαν χιονοπόλεμο!

THE GUARDIAN (UK): ’Snowball fight is pretty much myth': police say video not what it appears

REASON: "Snowball Fight/Gun" Video is Misleading, Says New Rochelle PD

MAYOR NOAM BRAMSON: Context Matters in New Rochelle Police Video

HUFFINGTON POST LIVE TV: Why Police Response To A Snowball Fight Went Viral

BLACK WESTCHESTER: New Rochelle Police Chief Feels Racism Doesn’t Exist – Video Goes Viral Of Officers Holding Youth At Gunpoint

VIBE: Who Pulls Out A Gun On Kids At A Snowball Fight? This New Rochelle Police Officer

FOX 5 NEWS: Cops dispute gun pointing video at teens

METRO (France): New Rochelle (Etats-Unis) : un policier sort son arme pour... une bataille de boules de neige

BET: New York Officer Draws Gun on Black Teens Allegedly Having Snowball Fight

WOR-TV: Mittens up, don't shoot!

NEWS 10 (Columbus, OH): NY Police: Video of officer pointing gun at "snowball fight" misleading

FOX 4 KC: Viral Video: Cop pulls gun on teens during “snowball fight”

BIZ PAC REVIEW: NY police challenge snowball fight video, claim ‘clever mischief’ made cop look bad

PAST REPORTING BY TALK OF THE SOUND ON NEW ROCHELLE POLICE COMMISSIONER PATRICK CARROLL

Some readers have wondered why Talk of the Sound has been banned from NRPD daily press briefings, press conferences on high profile cases, and why our media inquiries (phone calls or emails) are not returned. Some of this part reporting on Carroll and his leadership of the NRPD might provide a glimpse into the mindset of the Commissioner. As recently as last November, Carroll admitted that his reason for banning Talk of the Sound is that he does not considered me, Robert Cox, to be a journalist, and that our reporting is not "real reporting" because it is "skewed". Setting aside the notion that the Police Commission gets to decide who is and is not a journalist, what he has made clear is he wants stories written with prior approval. We prefer to let out reporting speak for itself and readers can decide. We are confident that readers will find that our reporting is accurate and supported by extensive documentation (public records, audio, video and photographs).

City of New Rochelle Has "No Comment" on XXX-Rated P.F.F.L. Web Site Published by Current and Former NRPD Officers

New Rochelle Commissioner Turns Blind-Eye to "Gangster Mentality" in Police Department's High-Stakes Fantasy Football

In Wake of Talk of the Sound Expose on XXX-Rated Gambling Site,New Rochelle PD Social Media Policy Limits 1st Amendment for Cops

New Rochelle Police Department Declares Open Season on Journalists; Refuses to Investigate Death Threat

New Rochelle Police Foundation Series

Part I: For Years, Dozens of New Rochelle Police Foundation Directors Quietly Given Swipe Card Access to Locked Door at NRPD Headquarters

Part II: New Rochelle Police Commissioner Downplays 2008 Arrest of New Rochelle Police Foundation Director for Impersonating a Police Officer, Carrying 2 Loaded Handguns

Part III: Former New Rochelle Police Foundation Director Vigorously Denies Rye Police Report of 2008 Arrest

Part IV: Rye Police Tell Different Story About Arrest of New Rochelle Police Foundation Director

Part V: New Rochelle Police Commissioner Repeatedly Intervened After Arrest of New Rochelle Police Foundation Director

Part VI: New Rochelle Police Foundation Director Rips Police: "I Hate F--king Cops", "Cops Lie 99% of the Time on Police Reports"

Part VII: Arrest of New Rochelle Police Foundation Director Raises Many Questions for City of Rye and Rye PD

Part VIII: House Owned by New Rochelle Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll Raises Questions

Developing...