Home News DC officers under investigation for dry-firing weapon during roll-call

DC officers under investigation for dry-firing weapon during roll-call

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DC Police officials are taking aim at an officer who dry-fired an unloaded weapon at another officer, possibly under orders from a superior for the purpose of “situational awareness” training.

According to WUSA9, the incident occurred during a roll-call meeting Saturday afternoon, where sources say that a Sergeant instructed an officer with an empty service pistol to test the situational awareness of a colleague by pointing the weapon at his head and pulling the trigger.

Both the “shooter” and Sergeant are pending an internal affairs investigation, though they are both still on duty.

“I can tell you there are about seven different versions of the incident that are out there,” MPD Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters Monday. “I’m not sure which or how many of those that you’ve heard, but I prefer to wait until I see some facts and some direct statements of what happened before I make a judgment.”

Critics within the department are upset, arguing that other officers could have shot the “dry-fire shooter” reflexively or that there may have been a round inadvertently chambered in the weapon.

“You shouldn’t be doing that kind of training. This is police academy 101. You do not pull your weapon out of your holster and display it, especially in a roomful of cops,” said Michael Tabman, a former Fairfax County Police Officer and FBI Special Agent who was briefed on the incident.

The practice of dry-firing weapons aimed at another person is nothing new- while the practice is contrary to range safety doctrine instructing shooters to never point their weapons at anyone, the nature of the business guarantees that pointing weapons at others is inevitable during training. However, everyone present in such cases usually have unloaded weapons as well.

“You just don’t put people in that fear and sort of invite tragedy, and that’s what this was—it was inviting tragedy. Thank goodness nothing happened,” Tabman said.

 

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