FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Days after a cellphone video of a teenager recording two Fairfax County police officers pointing guns at him went viral, police are “providing context” by releasing several minutes of one officer’s body camera footage.
The incident took place on Saturday, July 9 at an IHOP in Falls Church.
The video, which was first posted on Reddit before making its way to other social media platforms, drew criticism of the Fairfax County Police Department from community members. The latest gun-pointing incident happened after a two-week period where two separate Fairfax County officers shot and killed a man.
According to Police Chief Kevin Davis, Fairfax County officers responded to the restaurant after receiving a 911 call from an employee. Reading portions of the call transcript, Davis shared that the employee felt threatened by three teenagers, who the caller said had a gun.
“There are these three guys that came into my job and they umm, came in here and showed me a gun,” the 911 caller said, according to the transcript. Later she added, “right now they are texting me like, ‘I’m going to shoot you.”
Police handcuffed two teenagers and did not find a gun. When a third teenager walked over holding a cell phone, two officers pointed their weapons.
“Put that phone down man,” one officer yelled before pulling out his weapon. He then said, “Get on the ground, get on the ground now.” The person complied.
Davis explained that because there was no gun found with the first two suspects, there was cause for the officers to believe that the third person was armed, which is why even after the object he was holding was identified as a cell phone, officers kept their weapons drawn until the teenager was on the ground.
However, the chief of police explained that during the course of the law enforcement investigation, no gun was ever recovered. None of the teenagers are facing charges.
At the Friday press conference, Davis defended his officers’ actions.
“These police officers who responded to this scene acted lawfully, acted in accordance with their training and our policies and, in my opinion, our community’s expectations.”
The body cam footage, as well as the full Fairfax Police press conference, can be seen here.
This is a developing story and will be updated.