Turn on the TV, search the web and it seems like all you see regarding cops is negative stories of abuse, brutality and discrimination. But a new viral video has reminded us that those horrifying videos we see and stories we hear don’t represent all officers.
On Monday afternoon, D.C. police officials responded to a call about some teenagers fighting. The first officer broke up the fight, but after a few minutes, the second officer noticed that the teenagers were lingering around. She approached them and asked them to leave the area.
After a bit of negotiating, the officer came to an agreement with Aaliyah Taylor, 17. They agreed to a dance-off.
The loser had to leave the area and the winner could stay. The 200th block of K Street SW became a dance floor for the Ballou High School student and the full uniform clad female officer. The two showed off their best moves while listening to Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).
Taylor told reporters:
“Instead of us fighting, she tried to turn it around and make it something fun. I never expected cops to be that cool. There are some good cops. (…) I mostly hold my head down when I dance, so I didn’t really see her. But when I looked at the video after, I was like ‘Oh, she has some moves.’ (…) I thought all cops were cruel because that’s how I saw them. I’ve now seen there are good cops out there.”
After a few minutes, the officer got tired and the two declared it a tie. The video has become an internet sensation, but when reached out to, the officer said she didn’t want to be identified. She said:
“It’s kind of embarrassing that this became so big. This is what we do every day.”
She has been working with the D.C. police force for three years. She recently returned after serving a tour of duty in Iraq.
Who knew community policing could involve the Nae Nae? Great example of police having fun while keeping us safe: https://t.co/ZGeTDm6OYw
— President Obama (@POTUS) October 29, 2015
Marinos Marinos is the secretary of the D.C. police union. Marinos expressed that these sorts of exchanges between police and citizen’s are not out of the norm.
“We are humans just like everyone else. Every day we come in contact with thousands of citizens and almost all of them have positive outcomes.”
Cathy Lanier, a D.C. Police Chief, echoed that sentiment. She said:
“The viral video today of the First District Officer positively engaging with teens and diffusing the conflict yesterday in a manner that appropriately resolved the call is reflective of the many positive police-community interactions that take place daily in Washington, D.C.”
The video even caught the attention of Mayor Muriel Bowser who admired the way the officer responded instead of reacting to what could have been a tense situation. Talking about the city’s tactics to diffuse crime, she tweeted:
“DC has innovative ways to keep our community #saferstrongerDC.”
Positive stories about community policing are long overdue. So props to the D.C. police force and to the officer in the video. We watched you whip, we watched you nae nae and we watched you shine a light on what great cops can look like!
New York Daily News “D.C. cop stops fight between teens with dance-off challenge” YouTube. 29 October 2015. Web. 02 November 2015.