DC police officer cleared of threatening first lady

A departmental review board ruled that Christopher Picciano, a 17-year veteran of the District police, had been joking when, during a breakfast with other officers, he reportedly said that he wanted to kill the first lady.

After making the comment, he showed the officers a picture of a .40-caliber handgun on his cell phone. But Picciano maintained that the image was related to a separate conversation about the weapon, which he had recently received as a birthday present.

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“We’re pleased that he was exonerated of all allegations that he made threats against the first lady,” Picciano's attorney, James Pressler, told the Post. “He has maintained from the beginning that it was an off-the-cuff remark, a joke.”

Picciano had been a member of the presidential motorcade detail, but has subsequently been reassigned to evidence control. 

The review board did, however, recommend suspending Picciano over separate inflammatory postings he made to online social media accounts. Those included sharing an image of a communist hammer and sickle superimposed over an image President Obama, joking about taking a rifle to a tall building after the D.C. Council voted to curtail pension benefits and writing on LinkedIn that he worked as a "zoo keeper of the MPD."