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August 30, 2010

Rivieri speaks out about skateboarding video

Baltimore Police Officer Salvatore Rivieri called into WBAL's Kendel Ehrlich Show and spoke for the first time about his confrontation with the skateboarding teen that got him fired last week. He didn't talke about specifices -- the police union has filed its notice of appeal -- but he did say he was devastated by his firing.

"We were blindsided," the 19-year veteran said (listen to the complete interview).

The former officer didn't take phone calls but did read a statement noting that the YouTube video did not show everything, including his first warning to Eric Bush to stop skateboarding on the steps of the Maryland Science Center at the Inner Harbor, and him handing back the skateboard to the youth after the incident had concluded. The video also didn't show, he said, the two shaking hands or the officer talking to Eric's mother on a cell phone.

Rivieri was fired last week after a disciplinary panel cleared him of using excessive force and discourtesies during the Inner Harbor incident three years ago that was captured on video and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. It shows Rivieri berating and pushing the teen during a heated exchange in which the officer felt the youth had disrespected him by ignoring his orders and calling him "dude."

People supporting Rivieri

Officer fired (and video of the incident).

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:28 AM | | Comments (23)
Categories: Confronting crime, Downtown, Top brass


Rivieri was out of line and should have been reprimanded, but firing at 19-year veteran is a little bit overboard, especially given that the video did not capture the entire incident.


I agree, the entire You Tube video was not captured. Sal Rivieri should not have been fired. The court appeal being filed by the FOP will hopefully have Sal Rivieri reinstated as a police officer in the near future.

good that this guy got fired, it is time for power hungry cops get what they deserve. The rest of you people who think because he is a cop that he get special rights....not this time.
this is once that media has helped skaters and i hope more skaters take note from this to record crooked cops with there ego problems.

This just shows that he has been a cop too long. He let some teenager get him that mad? He has some issues that a cop shouldn't have.

I hate to see anybody lose their job in hard times like these, however, a power crazed, abusive cop who bullied a teenager for skateboarding? You got exactly what you deserved...Dude.

Listening to the C-4 Show, the kid (skateboarder) had the word "Dude" tattooed on himself. Shows he has no respect for authority and didn't take this incident seriously. Skateboarding should not be tolerated in an area like the Inner Harbor. It places others in jeopardy who are walking in the area because of the potential for falling into the water.

That video may not show the whole incident, but it's also not the first time the officer has been in the lime light for his abusive treatment of citizens. There's other videos of him being just as abusive to other people.

While I agree that the skateboarders shouldn't be riding in a crowded area like that, it's not the Officers job to lecture them on the disrespectful nature of the term, "dude." It's his job to mete uphold the law. No more.

He was an obvious power tripper that should not be in a position of power.

what difference does it make ???
19 years or 1 year there is a protocol and he was JOHN WAYNE ON THE SCENE
What if this kid was disabled of a different color or a family or friend

throwing the kid on the ground

whoooo big man Rivieri

Kudo's to the Officer.

He did the right thing. THAT IS OUR PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTRY. Kids think they have the right to be disrepectful, rude, and show no respect or fear of people in positions of Authority.

I have a kid just like that and I have taken him to the Police, had him Intake for hitting his mom, taking him to Country Programs for Disrespect rude and dangerous kids, have him seeing Behavior Specialist, Psychiatrist, etc..

OH, by the way, He started out the Same way as this disrespectful little kid.

We should give this officer and Award and Medal.

The Commissioner has no clue and out of touch with society. Tell the Commissioner to Go Undercover Boss Mode and he will find out what its like out there.

The Courts, Enabling Parents, Etc.. are causing this country to fall apart.

I think a disciplinary action should be taken, loss of pension is a bit extreme. I am not familiar with his whole history or record as a police officer though.
Based on this one incident should he lose his job and pension; NO. Should he be suspended without pay; Yes.
Abuse of power and intimidation are not job descriptions serve and protect are.

I agree the officer should have kept his kool, but skaters are the MOST disrespectfull people on the planet (along with taggers). They flaunt our laws with impunity, almost run down senior citizens like me, and have the filthiest mouths I have ever heard

Fire This Guy

I support the cops, but they have to follow the law. This officer was out-of-control. He can arrest this kid or write him a citation. He cannot bounce him around because he is not getting respect. That is called ASSAULT.

If the situation were reversed, and someone knocked this cop down, that person would have been arrested. There is no double standard.

You should go light on argument that Rivieri had 19 years on the job. That means for 19 years he has been a bully, and for 19 years he has been abusing his authority. For 19 years, he was able to hide behind his badge.

What a tough guy. He should be jailed for touching a child. This kid will never forget this big dummy. He has NO Excuse. Give him his pension, make him apologize to the family, his fellow officers, and Fine Him.
$10,000.00 to be put in a trust fund for the skateboarder he assaulted, and $5,000. to the other skateboarder he verbally assaulted.

Don, why would you generalize that way, degrading people to the level of criminals just because of the recreational activity they choose to participate in? Being a skater for years myself, I have met countless kind, respectful individuals who ride skateboards. You can't assume everyone who rides a skateboard possesses poor character. To think that way is just ignorant.

What this officer did was absolutely out of line, end of story.

Nina P: I completely disagree with what you said about skateboarders being the most disrespectful. That is most definitely a stereotype. Skateboarding doesn't change a persons attitude. As a skater I must say I respect my elders and everyone in my community. I am courteous and if someone tells me to leave somewhere I do as I am told. Not all skaters are dis respectful and I think people need to remember that teens are people too. There is no need to treat them as dogs. They are the future leaders of our country there for they should be respected as well.

I'm curious if anyone supporting the officer actually watched the video.

The officer grabbed the child by the NECK and threw him to the ground. Was the kid being disrespectful? Absolutely. But I don't care what kind of badge this man was wearing, it does NOT justify that kind of action toward a youth.

He deserved a very severe punishment for what he did.

He was out of his right to assault that kid, and for the people thinking this was a one time incident; there's another video floating around of some people that were just having fun driving around a remote control car that was under a box or something. They were doing it to record reactions of people seeing a box just kinda moving around, all in fun. When "Officer Rivieri" swings by, kicks the box off, and I think kicks their remote control car. He then goes on saying something to the people. For no reason, he did this. He's a complete buzz kill, and an abuser of his badge.

I told you guys, LOT of cops are SICK, this one is just unfortunately caught, but anyway, he deserved it.

It makes me sick that anyone could think Officer ReallyHairy did the right thing. He is a power hungry piece of feces, picking on little kids... "Authority" is a made up word, nobody is higher than anybody else... That 14 year old skater will most likely grow up to be 100x the person officer ReallyHairy will ever be. Honestly! How can a grown ass man lose his temper to a little kid like that? Dude, way to be a baby. I'm glad you lost your job, you deserved it.

Just another example of a guy who joined the force just to walk all over others. I know many police officers, none of which feel the need to appear more powerful than everyone else. This guy is a joke. Obviously not right in the head to protect anyone.

This guy is out of control and frankly he is a serious threat to any child who's parents might not be present. We don't need law enforcement adding to the threats out children may face when they are out and about. We pay taxes so that we can live in a semi-safe society, to to add to the threat of physical harm. If he is a 19 year veteran, i would say that someone failed to catch on to his mental problems earlier.

Incredible to see comments from these moron soccer mom ass-kissers actually defending this man. And if you think this was an isolated incident, just check out the other youtube video of this clown going ape on some guy with a remote control car.

Too bad that those who defend this guy believe that they're supporting the police... when justifying this sort of behavior does nothing but degrade them.

This officer is sick and twisted this a prime example of a us officer who thinks they are above the law. i dont understand why he wasn't fire after the video was released. but yet took almost 3 years to make there decision. unfortunately for the officer his whole career is ruined and his going to wind up working at dunking doughnuts

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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