The video above is a perfect example of how a cop can meet teenagers where they are, diffuse attitude, and win the day.
On Monday afternoon, D.C. police officers broke up two groups of fighting teenagers. A few minutes later, a female officer approached the lingering crowd and told the teens to disperse.
That’s when Aaliyah Taylor, a 17-year-old senior at Ballou High School, walked up to the officer and started playing “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” on her phone. Then she did the Nae Nae dance.
The officer, according to Taylor, laughed and said she had far better dance moves than that.
What happened from there on the 200 block of K Street SW was a rather impressive dance-off between the police officer and the teen, and an example of positive community policing at a time when national attention is focused on discriminatory and abusive police tactics. The onlooking teens caught the dance battle on their cell phones while a song by rapper Dlow played in the background.
“Instead of us fighting, she tried to turn it around and make it something fun,” Taylor said. “I never expected cops to be that cool. There are some good cops.”
Taylor said the officer told the group that if the teens won the dance-off, they could stay. If the officer won, they would have to leave.
The two danced for a few minutes face-to-face — stanky leg and all — and Taylor said the officer would have kept going, but she got tired. Both Taylor and the officer declared themselves the victors, hugged and everyone left the area.
No arrests. No beatings. No outrage. Yes, it is possible.