Why did Fairfax Co. police draw guns on a juvenile recording on smartphone?

A picture may be worth a thousand words but police in Fairfax County, Virginia, said there’s more to tell about a social media video showing officers pointing guns at someone using a smartphone camera.

The voice of the person holding the phone can be heard on the video as officers ordered him to the ground: “Why you pointing the gun at me, why you pointing the gun at me?”

Fairfax County police said the incident unfolded at a Falls Church restaurant on Arlington Boulevard around 7 p.m. Saturday. The hostess reported being threatened by several juveniles, and she said one flashed what appeared to be a gun.

Police said the juveniles ran when officers arrived, but two were caught. As officers questioned them, a third juvenile popped up with something in his hands.

Officers, concerned about the whereabouts of the reported gun, ordered the juvenile to the ground at gunpoint. It was then determined that he was holding a smartphone.

The juveniles were released to their parents.

Any incident in which Fairfax County police point firearms automatically prompts an internal review. Police said the matter is being investigated by a detective in the Criminal Investigation Division.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in a statement that the internal investigation will be monitored by the county’s independent police auditor, who reports directly to the Board of Supervisors.

“It is of paramount importance that FCPD officers follow departmental policies and procedures while also protecting the safety of all our residents and meeting the expectations of our community,” McKay said.

WTOP is seeking comment from the juvenile who recorded the video.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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