City Desk

D.C. Police: ‘It’s Time To Make The Snowball Conversation Disappear’

The D.C. Police Department would really like the snowball incident to go away. Here are some internal police e-mails discussing the p.r. disaster as well as some jerks who left threatening messages:

From: Smith, Yvonne (MPD)
To: Kishter, Jacob (MPD); Groomes, Diane (MPD); Lanier, Cathy (MPD)
Cc: Klein, Matthew (MPD); McHugh, Phillip (MPD)
Sent: Wed Dec 23 19:50:55 2009
Subject: 3D LISTSERV

It’s time to make the snowball conversation disappear.  We have received more than 100 messages, easily since Saturday.  People are starting to complain.  Technically, according to the listserv guidelines, we can put a stop to this for fear that valuable members will begin to unsubscribe.

Please advise.


From: Kishter, Jacob (MPD)
To: Smith, Yvonne (MPD); Groomes, Diane (MPD); Lanier, Cathy (MPD)
Cc: Klein, Matthew (MPD); McHugh, Phillip (MPD)
Sent: Wed Dec 23 19:52:24 2009
Subject: Re: 3D LISTSERV

We should have stopped posting a long time ago. Unless overruled I agree to stop posting.

Jacob Kishter
Metropolitan Police Dept.
Third District
1620 V St, NW
Washington, DC 20009

From: Klein, Matthew (MPD)
To: Kishter, Jacob (MPD); Smith, Yvonne (MPD); Groomes, Diane (MPD); Lanier, Cathy (MPD)
Cc: McHugh, Phillip (MPD)
Sent: Wed Dec 23 19:55:35 2009
Subject: Re: 3D LISTSERV

Agree to stop. Most of the posts now are just irrelevant opinions and not in line with the listserv's purpose.

CMDR Matt Klein
Second District

From: McHugh, Phillip (MPD)
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 8:10 PM
To: Klein, Matthew (MPD); Kishter, Jacob (MPD); Smith, Yvonne (MPD); Groomes, Diane (MPD); Lanier, Cathy (MPD)
Subject: Re: 3D LISTSERV

I agree as well. Additionally, we received over 250 emails in IQ directly to MPD and the Mayors office has got over 100. EOM is closing them with no response and we have agreed internally not to respond as well.
Furthermore, for your information- we did send two of the emails to intel to look into as they contained threatening statements- one man said "I hope you all get shot in the face" and the second said "Kill a cop for christmas." The contact info associated with the messages is not likely valid and will make it difficult to track down the writers. The threats were not against a specific district or member- just these two disturbing statements. Chief- we will provide and update once we get it back from intel.

Phillip J. McHugh, EOCOP
Sent from my Blackberry Wireless Handheld

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  • downtown rez

    Why on earth would you post something that may alert people of a possible investigation?
    "we did send two of the emails to intel to look into as they contained threatening statements- one man said "I hope you all get shot in the face" and the second said "Kill a cop for christmas." The contact info associated with the messages is not likely valid and will make it difficult to track down the writers."
    Granted, it doesn't seem terribly likely, but still.
    Poor show, Jason, poor show.

  • Anonymous

    Um, you certainly give these nimrods credit for a level of intelligence and thoughfulness they don't possess, DR.

  • jf1

    "The threats were not against a specific district or member- just these two disturbing statements."


    "Yes, we'll attend to them right after our investigation of the cop who pulled a gun in a snowball fight is complete" ;)

  • Dawn

    This is really sad. I know many of the people who attended this snowball fight had no idea that something that started off with laughter and so much fun would end up being so embarassing to our city, all the way around. People all over the country and the world are blogging about this.

    It has become so bad that I have told my friends that I do not want to discuss it when they bring it up.

    Everyone involved in throwing snowballs across a busy street, throwing snowballs at vehicles and throwing snowballs at the officer were wrong. The officer was also wrong. I think the only people who were not in the wrong were the ones who innocently came out to have fun and who only threw snowballs within a small perimeter that did not stretch out to strangers or across the street, endangering drivers.

    It saddens me that there is so much hatred in this world that people can hear something in the news and begin making death threats to people they know nothing about. This is very sad.


  • Norman

    Are you kidding me or what! Life in DC must be great when a freaking snowball incident can snag this type of press. Please focus on the good work done by most members of this force. Men and Women in Blue, you have my support and thanks for the fine job you do. Merry Christmas to all and put this to rest...

  • L McKenzie

    Wow! Speaking of snowballs. This whole thing has snowballed. What is next? How do you get copies of police email messages? And why would people call or send email to a police station and make threats about killing officers?

    This whole thing is crazy. One thing, the officer is right about people getting sick and tired of those messages. On the police groups sponsored by Yahoo, we are accustomed to talking about crime and getting alerts from the police department whenever there is a crime or finding out what is happening when we see police cars. For the past few days, that information got lost between people who debated over and over and over about who was at fault the most- the officer or the snowball throwers, who later became known as spoiled rich kids or yuppies.

    Then it started to become about wealth, race and class. One person said an officer should not be able to afford a hummer at all. Another person said if the officer was white and the snowball throwers were black, the outcome would have been different. Someone else said they helped forward the email to get the people to attend and did not see anything wrong with what the group did because she was from new york and they were able to do those kinds of things in new york. Others challenged her. By the end of all the bickering, people were tired and pleading for the discussion to end, but they just kept coming. So I for one am glad that the police department stopped the emails.

    I agree that the death threats are over the top, but I am not surprised to hear this after seeing all of those heated messages about who was right and who was wrong. It was like watching the healthcare debate.

  • Wanda

    Bad press on the police lowers community moral, especially when the public don't get the same news coverage on positive police news. I noticed that I didn't see any stories or leaked emails on all of the toys, clothes and shopping trips that was sponsored by the same police department this week.
    Whoever wrote this story needs to go work for the tabloids and chase Tiger Woods down because I consider it unethical to post internal emails from any company or organization discussing any matter. No harm was done no laws were broken. (Which would actually be news.) Plus we don't know if this is even real or not---as long as it sells papers, and secure the job of the writer, I would expect that the writer Jason doesn't care either.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for more trash journalism-just what we don't need in DC!

    Why don't you go to bed and ask Santa to bring you a real news story.

  • My Wife is an Officer

    A friend of mine just sent this to me. All I have to say is a threat against my wife is a threat against me and my entire family.

    Police officers have a very tough job in this city. When there is a bad story about police conduct that cause people to get mad, I always worry about my wife's safety because I know there are some crazy people out here who already don't like the police so they look for reasons to justify attacks.

    What happened last week with the officer and the snowball fight should not be associated with the good police officers like my wife who work hard. I see her helping people all the time.

    For Christmas she bought toys for needy children. She work in the schools with students. She see their needs and she try to help them. She try to teach them a better way to live and she talk to them all the time about staying out of trouble so they can one day afford to live better than they live now. She has helped students with finding out where to get college applications and told them to fill them out and mail them in.

    My wife pray at night for her students. I see her upset sometimes because some of these students don't want to be helped or they come from families that cannot give them the kind of love they need. Anyway I know I am getting way off the subject on my sope box. I just want to say that nobody should be threatening to kill the police over something that one person did because everybody is different and the police do different things at work.

    This is why I asked my pastor to pray for her. I am asking all of you who believe in God to pray for all the police officers at the MPD police department.

  • Sgt. Sensible

    I just got this link. Your title scared me for a minute. I thought the story was about MPD covering up for the officer, but that is not what this is about. This is about the department saying people are complaining so much on the police website that if we don't put it to a stop we could use some valuable contributors to our email message board. So long as the Chief is not trying to cover for the officer, I don't see anything wrong with the messages. I agree with the people who complained because it was getting out of hand and overwhelming the true meaning of the police message board. And certainly when threats come in to play, we should not entertain or give these people any press time.

  • Sgt. Sensible

    By the way, the police department has done this in the past. It looks like they sent a notice on the group last night alerting the public that the messages would be halted and people could contact their commanders if they had more info to assist with the investigation. They didn't just start deleting messages without notifying the public. I have seen them do this on the group in the First District. My search turned up this link.

  • Mike G.

    Community service sites are for community service not for a bunch of people to whine on about a snowball fight. Valuable information is exchanged daily between MPD and the Community on that site and it cannot be clogged with unrelated traffic. This site has been instrumental in bridging the communication gap between the district and the police department.
    Mr. Jerkis. If you are going to report on something it would only make sense to take 2 mins of time to figure out what you are talking about. The reference in the email is to free up the specific comminity site of extra and non related traffic. Not to attempt to hide anything as the title of the story implies. This reference is irresponsible and inflamatory neither of which the District needs.
    Is the collective creativity of the news department so low that printing a misleading story and a stolen internal email is the best you can do. Is DC really that quite.
    It's Christmas and with all the good being done in the community this time of year by the MPD and other organizations can't we read just a little GOOD NEWS instead of some made up BS.

  • Rick Mangus

    ALL RIGHT, IT'S OVER FOR NOW!!!. like the Christmas song says, "God REST yea merry gentleman".

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  • NadaDon

    Mr. Housewife- "a threat against my wife is a threat against me and my entire family."

    Are you fucking retarded? You wife is in a very dangerous line of work, which I completely respect her for doing. However, statements like this are just idiotic. Every day she risks her life, so for your sudden concern for her safety because of some morons general statements threatening every police officer, just seems a little stupid.

    If you're so fucking moved by this, please advise/encourage your wife to seek another line of work.

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  • Jamie

    Sgt. Sensible is right. This has nothing to do with making it "go away." It's not going away, regardless of what happens on this listserv, and that's not what the point of this exchange is.

    The emails are pretty straightforward and I totally agree with their intent. They aren't trying to cover up or stop conversation about the snowball thing. They're trying, rather, to make the content of the listserv useful to its readers. I think after a couple hundred messages on the subject, er, the cat is out of the bag and there is no shortage of venues that are more appropriate for people to keep talking about it.

    I certainly do not see any intent here other than a desire to keep the content relevant and not be overwhelmed by conversation that's now completely redundant.

  • bill b

    @ DC Cops

    It's time to make Mike Baylor disappear.
    Hey you guys.... get a real job!

  • Roger M.

    The guy has thirty years on the force, make him put retirement papers in and take his gun away. Maybe he's grumpy old man, maybe not, let him retire; end of problem

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