Alternate headline: “Hey, who’s up for a thousand-comment thread on appropriate use of force by police?” All the ingredients for a classic HA brawl are here — except, oddly, for the taser. Imagine the site traffic today had Officer Itchyfinger fished out a stun gun and zapped the kid in the mask into a snow bank. Imagine it.

Reminds me of Connery’s speech in The Untouchables. They pull a knife, you pull a snowball. They pull a snowball…

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said she had watched video clips from the weekend confrontation and has no doubt that the off-duty officer pulled his gun after snowballs hit his personal vehicle during Saturday’s record snowfall.

“Let me be very clear in stating that I believe the actions of the officer were totally inappropriate!” Lanier said in a statement. “In no way should he have handled the situation in this manner.”…

Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters Monday that the detective has been placed on desk duty and his badge and weapon have been withdrawn. He did not identify the officer but described him as a veteran detective with more than 25 years of experience.

“He has a very good reputation,” he said.

The uniformed cop pulls his piece too but presumably that’s because he didn’t know when he got there that the plainclothes detective was a cop. Althouse notes that there is a case for arrests since they weren’t just tossing ‘balls at each other, they were tossing them at passing cars. But even so, what was the plan once the guy had his gun out? Warning shot fired into the sky? Snowballs shot out of the throwers’ hands? If the point was simply to intimidate the crowd into stopping, Quick Draw could have pulled his badge instead.