Police in suburban New York say a video that claims to show a group of teenagers harassed at gunpoint for engaging in a snowball fight is a work of “clever mischief” after it went viral over the weekend.
“There was no snowball fight,” New Rochelle Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Murphy told the New York Daily News. Police were responding to a 911 call that involved someone pulling a gun, he said.
The 30-second video, which contains profanity but can be found here, shows two young men kneeling with their hands up as an officer yells at them. A report from local news outlet Talk of the Sound says the young men are black, though it’s difficult to see in the blurry video. Police treatment of young black men has been the focus of protests across the country in recent months after grand juries in New York and Ferguson, Mo., declined to indict police officers in two deaths.
“This group of guys was having a snowball fight and now a cop has a gun on them,” a voice says in the video.
The video caused a stir in the New York suburb and across the Internet. Talk of the Sound generated so much web traffic that the site’s host thought it was “under attack.” New Rochelle Councilman Jared Rice said that circumstances surrounding the incident were unclear, and tweeted that “many questions that still need answers.”