Peter Hermann reports:
Last month, a three-member police panel called a trial board held a hearing and found Rivieri, a 19-year veteran, guilty of failing to issue the youth a citizen contact receipt and failing to file a report, but not guilty of using excessive and unnecessary force and uttering a discourtesy.Three years after it happens the guy gets fired? Is there more I don't know? Seems way too harsh to me.
The panel recommended that Bealefeld suspend Rivieri for several days. But Bealefeld has the discretion to up the penalty, and he opted to fire the officer whose actions were displayed on video and seen around the world.
I wrote about the incident here.
We don't know what happened before the video starts. ... Did the cop already tell the kids three times to stop skateboarding in the Inner Harbor? Did the kid flip off the cop right before the video starts? I think there are lots of possible situations that could justify the cop's behavior.I heard a lot of cops talk like this when I was on the street. Sometimes it wasn't needed, but sometimes it was. If you fired every cop who ever talked like this, you'd have about six cops left in the Eastern, and I wouldn't be one of them. Sometimes this language and attitude is needed. Probably not in this case... but who am I to say?
Now let's say, for the sake of argument, that the video shows the whole story. If that’s the case, then the officer handled the situation horribly. If your goal is to get three kids to stop skateboarding, there are much better ways to do it.
Still, sometimes a person does need a lesson. Sometimes an arrest isn’t appropriate. Or legal. So as good police, you’ve got to put on an act: yell, threaten, cajole, lecture. All these are part of the job. But it’s important to have an objective when you deal with a situation. Then you have to figure out the best method to achieve your goals. Yelling for the sake of yelling isn’t good policing.
Rivieri gets to keep his pension, right?