The Washington Post

Lanier says she agrees with decision not to charge NBC’s Gregory for holding ammunition clip

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said Tuesday that she generally agrees with a decision by the city’s attorney general not to charge the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” for displaying an ammunition clip on national television.

Speaking on her monthly NewsChannel 8 call-in show, Lanier noted that Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan spared David Gregory criminal charges because he found that his actions, while illegal, did not endanger the lives of District residents.

“I think I agree with that,” Lanier said in her first public comments on the controversial issue. But, the chief said of NBC, “I think they very narrowly dodged a bullet in this case.”

Gregory had displayed the empty high-capacity clip on Dec. 23 while questioning the executive director of the National Rifle Association, during an interview on the school shootings in Newtown, Conn. It is a misdemeanor in the District to possess an ammunition clip, even empty, capable of holding 10 or more bullets.

Police investigated after television viewers e-mailed the department demanding Gregory be arrested. Read Nathan’s letter to NBC.

Peter Hermann covers crime for The Washington Post.

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