Disturbing Video of a Fight on 18th St, NW in Adams Morgan Involving a Police Officer

A reader sends in this disturbing video (on many levels) from what looks like the 2300 block of 18th Street NW in Adams Morgan.

131 Comment

  • Looks like the man got what he wanted. You don’t taunt police like that. Dumbass.

    • Yup, cops actually handled it pretty well, he could have just, ya know, pulled his gun out or slammed a wheelchair-bound homeless guy into a metal grate

      • No…the cops didn’t handle it well. Everyone one of those “bystanders” should have been rounded up and arrested.

        And that website that hosted the video needs to be taken down.

        • dumbest thing I’ve ever read on this site

        • Native American JD, you might consider reading the Constitution. Why should the video be taken down? Why should the entire website hosting it be taken down?

          It scares me when people call for this country to become a fascist regime.

          • The force is strong with this one.

            Promoting criminality is not free speech. First, as a website it’s commercial speech, which has greater restrictions. Second, it’s encouraging violence…which could fall under either the fighting words exception or the imminent threat exception.

          • For the imminent threat exception to apply the threat has to be truly imminent and immediate in both time and space. Posting on the internet, at least based on my understanding of current jurisprudence, would not fall within this exception because it is removed both in time and space from the event and/or people the message is being conveyed too. Additionally, it is relaying something that has occurred in the past and is not inciting something to happen in the immediate future.

            Fighting words doctrine has been extremely narrowed by recent Supreme Court jurisprudence. Additionally because this is just reporting an event it lacks the necessity of being directed at a particular person/group that is required under the fighting words doctrine.

            There may be statutory regulation of the internet that might limit this type of speech to a certain extent but at least facially it would be protected by the first amendment.

    • I can’t believe Im the only one seeing the Cops in the wrong here. Yes, the man should have been arrested and taken into custody. Did the officer act professional, HELL NO! Look at 0:29 the officer is TELLING the man to put his hands up and fight him(do cops really fist fight?). The cop looked like the instigator the whole video(0:11 taunting him with a batton). The officer was just playing into the crowds hype and knew the guy wasn’t going to back down from there. If this guy was out of uniform I wouldn’t be able to tell the two apart.

      • Without knowing what happened prior to the start of the video, it’s hard to say who really was provoking who from the outset.

        I’d say that the cop was pretty unprofessional by even pretending to put up his dukes, but I don’t fault him for taking down the guy when he went towards physically confronting him.

        I think the other cops should have been dispersing the violence inciting people yelling around the crowd. This is a bad situation waiting to happen, and loudly inciting someone into violence against a police officer seems worthy of a pair of cuffs to me.

      • +1000

        “The officer was just playing into the crowds hype and knew the guy wasn’t going to back down from there. If this guy was out of uniform I wouldn’t be able to tell the two apart.”
        I see this as a big problem with cops, not just in DC. They get a badge & a gun when they join up but no sense of decency or professionalism. They end up acting exactly like the people they’re supposed to be protecting the masses from (though I certainly don’t consider brutalizing suspected criminals while arresting them to be ‘protecting’ as much as it is deliberately being an a-hole while also doing your job). True, we don’t really know what those people did to get the cops called on them in the first place, but if the young man was evading arrest or posed a threat to an officer or did anything else that would warrant an arrest, the officer should have done so without hesitation or joking, if for no other reason than to save his own butt. Very unprofessional.

  • It appears to me that they’re giving him plenty opportunity to walk away from the situation at the beginning.

    The fact that a mob was encouraging this behavior is nearly as shameful.

  • Reason #9999 to ad to the list of reasons why I never go to AM.

  • One of the YT comments implies the man was backing down from his stance. Once you raise your fists to an officer, you’ve passed the point of no return, I think..

  • Guy asked for and then received what he deserved. Good work DCPD. Totally agree, raise your fists to an officer, deserve to spend the night/longer in jail.

  • He wanted a fight. That guy could have walked away a half dozen times and kept going back for more. AM has become such a dump.

    • Not just that, but the guy repeatedly tries to out-flank the officer / circle around behind him. He was definitely acting in an aggressive manner. Definitely looking for a fight.

  • Well in LA he’d be comatose right now.

  • I hope PoP wasn’t referring to the cop’s actions as disturbing. The dude was threatening a police officer. He totally got what he deserved.

  • The only thing disturbing about that is the fact that the police waited so long to take him down.

  • I think the disturbing part was how the officer was taunting him in to fighting rather than trying to subdue the situation. Guy did kind of get what he deserved, but yeah, police shouldn’t really be encouraging people to fight.

    • yeah, is this not obvious? its kind of troubling… disturbing seems like an overstatement. but isn’t that why we love PoP?

  • Gotta say, he man did try to fight a police officer. Like everyone else here, I think he got what he deserved.

  • Ohhh, now I see why all the new restaurants are opening on H Street and 14th street. Thanks PoP.

  • …It still doesn’t beat Roger Huerta’s KO of University of Texas linebacker Rashad Bobino in an Austin Street fight.


  • What is the disturbing part…that Mayor Grey giving money to all his cronies cut the budget for tasers…

  • Add me to the “Dude got what he deserved” crowd.

  • seriously? this idiot got the beat down he deserved.

  • I am with @11:16. The police should not be taunting someone into a fight. Their job is to DE-escalate situations like this. If he’s just being a wiseass, walk away from him. If they were going to take this guy into custody and he resisted arrest, call enough backup to take him down. Don’t challenge him to a fistfight. What if he had kicked this cop’s ass? Would he have been justified in hitting the officer since the officer hit him first?
    I don’t see this as a guy getting the beatdown he deserved, I see this as a lawsuit against the city were some knucklehead gets paid because

    • because a police officer chose the wrong course

      • +1. Police are supposed to be above this type of behavior. And the other cops just stood around and did nothign to diffuse the situation. They could have tried to get the guy to leave, or get their fellow officer to calm down… anything but stand by and watch.

        I know being a police officer is an incredibly hard job, but now what we have is a fat lawsuit for this dumbass to “get paid, yo!”

    • “Would he have been justified in hitting the officer since the officer hit him first?”


      • Actually, that’s not necessarily true. I don’t have a right to use force to protect myself from a lawful attempt to arrest me. But if I am standing around minding my business and a police officer attacks me for no reason, I have the right to defend myself. It’s not clear to me that this happened during an attempt to arrest this guy. It looks like an argument that escalated into a fistfight.

        • You asked the question, the answer is no.

          What in the video lead you to believe the guy who got tackled thought he was being “attacked by a police officer for no reason”?

          It didn’t look to me like the guy was “standing around minding his own business”. He raised his fists to the cops…end of story. I personally think he got off pretty easy.

  • In the almost 2 minute long video, the cop only once put his hands up as if to take on a fist fight. And in doing so, he seperated the guy from the crowd. Don’t know if that’s why he did it, but in watching the video more than once, I don’t see what MPD did wrong. I hope others who think they should fight a cop, and their stupid friends that encourage them, both watch this video. That guy got what was coming to him.

    • “That guy got what was coming to him.”
      Totally agree, but what the officer did wrong was to throw the first punch.

      • Looked to me like the cop was trying to take said thuglet down. Props to the cops.

        Thuglet and crew got what they came for — a fight and a video that they hope will go viral. Soon, hopefully, the world will tire of this type of internet sensationist buffoonery.

  • Hard to tell what is actually going on in this video, but what’s clearly disturbing is the glee in the narrator’s voice.

  • sounds like that douchebag got what he deserved. hope he drops the soap in lockup.

  • There’s pretty much nothing wrong except that they should have locked him up sooner. We’re not required to play by the Queen’s Rules and let the guy hit us first. The second he squared off he’d be good to be pepper sprayed.

    Also, kudos to security for backing up the officer.

    • +100 That’s what I thought: just take him down already instead of letting him make this a spectacle.

    • If that’s the case, then I stand corrected (happily).
      Good work on all accounts, I’d say. My hat’s off.

    • Also noticed the bouncers helping out the cops to keep the crowd under control. Kudos to them. That’s nice to see.

    • I agree because a cop can arrest you for making verbal threats. This young guy could have gotten pepper sprayed and taken down hard. He obviously let the crowds excitement get him amped up for this take down. I also think the cops need more help in that neighborhood. It is hard to contain such a large crowd with so few officers on duty. Learn this lesson people dont get drunk and start acting crazy.

  • I don’t see what the cop did that was wrong. He took the aggressor down (quite quickly and cleanly, given the fact that it’s in traffic, with people around) and then cuffed him. Isn’t that what you want your police officers to do? I don’t see tasers nor did I see repeated punches.

    I think the disturbing reference is to the fact that people were egging on the fight (at least the person taping was) rather than encouraging the man in the white shirt to walk away.

    I am confused about the context of this however — why would you decide to try to fight a cop when he clearly has other officers present and may have possibly called in backup? Seems like a losing situation.

    • I agree on the most disturbing part being the calls to fight. (“Say it with your fists, brother!”)

      I mean, there’s a difference between the simple schadenfreude of watching a bad dude get taken down and yelling out rioting words. Don’t know if the perp would’ve made this horrible decision had the peanut gallery egging him on.

      The narrator’s glee is almost on the “squee” level. He’s super-duper delighted. What can we blame? Video games? Drinking? Depictions of violence in our media?

    • …why would you decide to try to fight a cop when he clearly has other officers present…

      Because you gotta keep it real, yo! One night in jail and a court hearing is worth the notoriety and respect you’ll get from all of your peers after they see you confronting the man face to face!

  • AM is a toilet now. I used to hang out there and it was a fun and eclectic neighborhood. I don’t get why the business owners there want to encourage all that trash to come there.

    • It very much still is a fun and eclectic neighborhood with great people, great food, and great bars. None of these shinanigans happen outside of 2-3am Friday and Saturday.

    • The business owners don’t encourage them because people like this guy don’t go to AM go to the businesses anyway (except Big Slice & McDonald’s). They go to cause trouble. AM is nice on most days, but on Friday & Saturday nights, it’s a hole.

      • Strange how a place can be simultaneously “nice” and “a hole” depending on the day. Maybe it’s not the place, but rather the people. Looking at it in that context, no neighborhood is immune.

        • If you want to see the difference, visit AM on Saturday at 10:00 am. Go to the great food market there. Then come back at 11:30 pm. You’ll see the difference. Clearly the people are the biggest problem. But although the neighborhood is generally a fun place to be on most days, the sheer number of bars makes it a magnet for trouble on weekends. So it is both the paople and the neighborhood. It’s unfair to say that the bars should close because the people causing the trouble generally aren’t going to the bars anyway. But it’s pretty clear that if AM had fewer bars then the street loiterers wouldn’t be attracted to the neighborhood. It’s not like Cleveland Park is a battleground on Saturday night and there’s a bunch of restaurants there. It’s a tough problem and it’s not going to be solved anytime soon.

      • +100000000000000000000000000

        people like this don’t patronize -any- establishments in A.M. (except the underground booty bar Mehrhi? and Fasika’s when it used to transform into a booty bar) they come for the action, hang out on the sidewalks, catcall, look for trouble, etc. is there no way to enact a NEIGHBORHOOD SPECIFIC anti-loitering law?

        • Right, but the reason they come to heckle and cause trouble is because they know here will be a bunch drunk idiots (male and female) who are over-served at a handful (not all) of the bars.

    • As others have said, AdMo is a great neighborhood outside of those hours. But I was out on U St. this past weekend and found that it has similar issues between 2-3am on Friday and Saturday.

  • Is that the same idiot narrator from the Georgia Ave fight video?

  • I also wondered what PoP meant.

    Rather than moving on and dispersing, the crowd is building pressure.

    The recording-guy is not a “witness” to abuse, but just can’t wait for the attention he will get from youtube — I’m sorry I bit. He probably even likes negative attention. He seems to act as if he wants to see “how far we can go.” In any case, he didn’t help. Well to me the video doesn’t show any evidence of abuse, but how terrible the “citizens” were.

    Keep it up and you’re going to have crap like curfews. Are they even adults? Or middle school students? srs. (No offense to middle school students.)

  • We get closer and closer to Idiocracy every day.

  • there should be Box a Cop mpd fundraisers.

  • the guy will sue the cops and win.
    the cops handled this poorly.

  • The officer hardly acted professional by twirling his club and raising his fist to taunt the guy. The whole situation just seems ridiculous.

  • Times like these make my miss living on that block…..

  • Police did nothing wrong . What some of you call egging by the officer is the officers response to someone who is not complying. Some cities would use guns in this situation.

  • way I see it, if you raise your hands to a cop – it’s pretty much on at that point.

  • Both parties look to be acting petty. But one was on the clock.

    Serve and protect the people, not your ego.

  • me

    PoP, can you clarify what you meant about this being disturbing on many different levels? While the cop was kind of an idiot for acting like Rocky Balboa for a few seconds towards the beginning, I don’t see how the rest of the actions were wrong. Disturbing because the crowd was egging everyone on?

    • I’m not sure either. I think PoP uses vague wording on posts like this so it encourages discussion amongst the posters rather than dialogue directed toward PoP himself. Similar to his statement that “mistakes were made” at the Caribbean Festival (regarding the shootings) but does not direct this towards anything in particular.

    • do you actually care why PoP used a certain word in a blog post? i hope not.

      • me

        I’m interested. Most of the viewpoints here are that the cop acted in (mostly) the correct way. I’d like to hear opposing viewpoints. I don’t see a problem with that.

        • no, the cop did not act in the right way. at all. he acted like a street thug. the thing is though, we all have so much animosity toward street thugs for holding back what could be such a more amazing city and allowing most of us to enjoy things peacefully, that we are reaching a tipping point where most people don’t give a damn how the thugs are taken down. people here are even talking about how the guy “got we he deserved” or should have been shot in the leg. beaten or shot for his words and posturing? many are to the point of not caring about civil liberties or freedoms and just want all anti establishment or violent behavior swiftly and brutally eliminated.

          • +1000

            It has gotten to the point where the ends justify the means. The guy was mouthing off, therefore he “deserved” a beatdown. No one here knows the full story – i.e., exactly what the cops were trying to do. All they see is a pants-on-the-ground, thug life wanna be getting taken out and it’s accepted as a good thing. Sends a message. Like I said before, wait until the civil suit gets filed.

          • One less thug on the street. I’m pleased.

  • I have come to the conclusion that the word disturbing used in the headline has zero to do with the actions of the police.

    • I’m unable to draw any other conclusion. Two cops out there trying to control a situation with one patently aggressive guy and about a half dozen people behind him encouraging him. Short of using their weapons, which would have escalated everything, the cops were at a disadvantage here.

      Why does nobody ever comment on the threat to the cops’ safety? That this went on for 90 secs before the idiot got taken down is a comment on the cop’s restraint.

  • Adams Morgan is more ghetto than usual on holiday weekends.

  • the officer should have just shot him in the leg or foor. that would have ended it and sent a message to the idiots encouraging the fight. anymore, arrogance has trumped respect.

  • The police also have to prove that they control the block. you can’t have people walking around raising fists to police officers consequence-free.

    things this guy will never be doing again: acting like a fucking idiot in the middle of AM. I’d say lesson learned.

    • Don’t be so sure you won’t see this clown again. It depends on his punishment vs the level of “street cred” he got from the incident. There’s a reason why this is posted on World Star Hip Hop.

  • This should be a Props to the Cops item.

    • +1 – For my money (and it is as a DC taxpayer), I support the poilce here, in spite of the small matter of briefly raised fist. I sure as hell would not want to take on these people and neither would any of the tough-talking posters (fking fools). Many thanks to MPD for dealing with this shit – just wish they didn’t have to.

    • +10 Yeah, I almost made the same comment earlier.

  • The way I see this guy got lucky the cop put his baton away in the beginning of the video. Wish he had used it though and left a lasting impression. Clean Admo up of trash like this and you will see less robberies and fights after 3am in the surrounding area.

  • I’d like to buy that cop a beer. It’s a thankless job, dealing with the weekend herds on 18th St.

  • what I find disturbing is that if it wasn’t for the bouncers keeping the people away at the end, I have a feeling that the cops would have been bum-rushed and attacked. Really had the potential to get a lot worse.

  • it’s an unavoidable conclusion that this cop fanned the flames of this situation (e.g., squaring up, tossing his arms up, etc.).

    with that said, the white shirt was clearly the aggressor and just begging to be arrested. still, I’m not sure why they didn’t place him under arrest earlier.

    all the same, recognize the difficult situation that the police offices were in. I counted THREE police officers there against an increasingly agitated mob of 30-40. you can’t just say wait and call for backup–there might not be any available and the situation could deteriorate faster than expected.

    the dude with his shirt off is also troubling: wtf is this, fight club on 18th street? we need to clean this shit up. bring back h2o.

  • I find this to be distrubing on multiple points.

    Memo to the PoPo: Adams Morgan Business district needs to step up and pay an additional business tax for increased security on the strip. There MUST be more police in this area on the weekends.

  • This is why Adams Morgan is going to shit

  • couple of things. cops greatly outnumbered, not that it justifies his actions. he made a decision, and now he’ll have to stand by it. just want to know who all these guys are who consider themselves men? i didn’t see on in the whole bunch. just a mob of idiots filming and taunting. entertainment. pathetic. AM has become such a terrible shit hole in the last 10 years. always had a shady element, which is to be expected with so many bars, but it’s just straight up trash now.

  • I was there. The man hit the police officer in the face, he was then handcuffed and spoken to. He was then released. He proceeded to harass the officer for at least an half hour. The man was by himself and acting extremely odd.

    • Well that answers that. I watched on tenterhooks, expecting the crowd to mob the policeman. The way they were all circling and egging the guy on, you could tell that the situation could have devolved quickly with one wrong move. I’m just relieved he never drew his weapon.

    • were you subpoenaed?

  • this incident was on 11th st, right?

  • This isn’t really disturbing considering the officer gave the man plenty of time to leave the scene. You can see the man circling the cop and making threats. I feel safer knowing there wasn’t a mob assault on law enforcement. Please correct the title of this posting.

  • @ m — so right, this was a clear set-up and I’m surprised PoP fell for it. This website planned in advance, had people out there to yell certain things, and were ready to film. Also, the time period is crucial–this takes place between 3:15am-4:30am on either a Fri-Sat or holiday because that is the only time this scene takes place. Lost here is that even on Fri-Sat up until 11pm is fine. Too bad everyone will use this as an excuse not to go to Adams Morgan overall. Truth is: 99.9% of population is not hanging out on a street btw 3:15-4:30am.

  • The police response doesn’t bother me at all. The guy in the white shirt walks directly at the cop, and the cop backs up for several feet. The guy in the white shirt is being clearly aggressive, and the police officer acts safely and justifiably in taking him to the ground during a brief opportunity when the guy in the white shirt is distracted.

  • I feel the man got what he was asking for. Anyone who would like to show off and fight the police should get beat down and lock up.


  • Articles like these put the consumer in the divrer seat—very important.

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