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‘What Weapon?’: Virginia Cops Under Fire After Pointing Guns at Teen Who Was Using His Phone to Record Their Police Stop

Fairfax County Police officials have launched an investigation after a video showing officers pulling firearms on a minor recording an arrest went viral.

The video uploaded on Reddit and Twitter shows two officers pointing guns at someone holding a cellphone camera and ordering him to get on the ground on July 9.

Police officials said that officers were responding to a report of three to four “juveniles” in an IHOP in Falls Church, Virginia, and were detaining two people when a third person, “who the officers believed to be involved, approached with something in his hands.”

“Stop him,” one of the officers says to another on the video before a female officer with her handgun drawn approaches the person holding the camera. Police officials identified the person as a juvenile.

“Why are you pulling the gun on me?” The teenager asked.

“Because you have a weapon,” the female officer said.

“What weapon? What weapon, huh? You look dumb, bro,” the teenager said.

“Get on your knees,” she replied.

A male officer then approaches the boy with his gun drawn.

“Get on the ground! Get on the ground now,” he screamed.

Police officials said they received a call that a teenager threatened a hostess at the restaurant while another lifted his shirt, flashing a gun in his waistband. The group left but returned three hours later and asked the employee to come outside, authorities said in a statement. When the officers detained the two minors, they did not find a weapon.

The Fairfax County Police Department also released the radio traffic call reporting the incident. One of the law enforcement employees on the call said there were reports that the juveniles surrounded the windows outside the IHOP.

“Due to the nature of the call and not locating a weapon, officers ordered the subject to the ground at gunpoint. Officers determined the juvenile was holding a cell phone and filming,” the statement says. “The three juveniles were detained and later released to their parents. The investigation has been assigned to a detective in our Criminal Investigation Division. As with all pointing of firearm events, the incident is under review.”

The video of the incident has been shared 9,400 times on Reddit and nearly 16,000 times on Twitter. Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Jeff McKay tweeted a response to the video and promised to ensure that police followed through with the investigation.

“I assure you that a thorough investigation will take place and that its findings will be shared with our community. The pointing of a firearm prompts an internal review that will be monitored by the Independent Police Auditor who reports directly to the Board,” McKay wrote. “Ensuring our officers are following departmental policies and the expectations of our community are of paramount importance.”

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