D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier expresses outrage over the allegation that an MPD officer made a comment about shooting Michelle Obama. Other officers could be disciplined for not reporting the remark.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier had strong words about the MPD officer who allegedly made a threatening remark about Michelle Obama.
"The amount of frustration and outrage and hurt to the members of this agency -- that, if this allegation is true -- cannot be overstated," Lanier said Friday.
She said that officers should know better.
"Is it possible the officer was making a joke?" she asked. "...First and foremost, there is absolutely no place for jokes of a nature that could be perceived as threatening to the president, the first lady or anybody else."
The Secret Service confirmed the alleged threat to News4 on Thursday, but said they don't believe it conveyed an actual intent to harm her.
According to the Washington Post, the officer said he would shoot the first lady, and then pulled out his phone to display an image of the gun he would use, according to the Washington Post.
The incident apparently happened during a routine morning roll call Wednesday. Another officer overheard the comment, and immediately alerted supervisors.
Sources tell NBC4's Jackie Bensen that officers may have heard the comment but didn't report it. Those officers could face displinary action.
The officer under investigation works in the Special Operations division, which handles presidential and dignitary motorcades in the city.
"This is an organization that prides itself, in our history, of being one of the most efficient and effective professional agencies in this country when it comes to dignitary protection," Lanier said.
Police haven't released the name of the officer, but he's been with the department for about 17 years. He has been placed on paid desk duty and could be referred for prosecution if investigators believe his comment constituted an actual threat against the first lady.
He could also face administrative discipline for conduct unbecoming.
While the Secret Service investigates threats against the first family as a matter of routine, the comments no doubt take on added seriousness given the officer's role within the department.
A White House spokesman said Friday that President Barack Obama was aware of the investigation but had nothing to say about it, and he referred questions to the Secret Service.
Typically, in the case of a threat against a member of the first family, the Secret Service interviews participants and witnesses and then decides how to proceed.