Controversy Strikes: Cleveland Police Have Snowball Fight While On Duty

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The latest Cleveland police controversy hit the presses this week when one resident woke to the sounds of laughter and glee outside his window. He peered through the blinds and quickly grabbed a camera because, as he describes it, several police officers were "in the middle of the street in a damn snowball fight."

WEWS is carrying Rob Gregory's video of the wintry fun, which is hilarious. Some of the comments are even funnier.

The snowball fight has many, including Gregory, furious over what seems to be a waste of taxpayers' money and time. Gregory paints it thusly during his video: "This is why we can't get no work done in Cleveland because this is what the police spend their time doing." (Emphasis ours)

Now, Scene is certainly no police apologist, but the uproar spiraling from this video is an interesting case study in Cleveland's penchant to flip out about small things while ignoring the bigger things. The first factor to consider, as many are certainly are, is what these upstanding snowball warriors could be doing with their time:

- Setting up their illegal traffic cameras *in other cities*
- Forming nothing short of an army to chase down unarmed civilians and shoot them to death
- Sleeping on the most significant kidnapping case this city has ever seen
- Filling out the ranks of the mayor's personal police beat
- Garnering the mistrust of an entire region

Snowball fights don't look so terrible now.

Mayor Frank Jackson told the news station, "We've looked at the video. It looks like the officers were relieving a little stress with a snowball fight that lasted a very short time. We're not aware that it resulted in any harm or put anyone at risk."

Here's the WEWS lede: "Is it a waste of tax pay dollars (sic) or just some cops having fun?"

And here's Fox 8's lede: "Inappropriate or innocent fun?" You can almost feel the ghoulish sense of foreboding curl up inside your cubicle as you read that. Maybe.

Those sorts of less-than-thought-provoking questions, darkened with the air of controversy, are fairly typical for TV news stations. But the response shows a strange tendency to mold mountains out of mole hills, even in the face of truly disturbing police actions like the ones listed above.

About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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