Video: "Dude" incident in Baltimore

A Baltimore city policeman is under investigation after this video surfaced. It captures an incident that took place at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor last summer. The Inner Harbor is where Baltimore meets the upper Chesapeake pretty much head on, and it’s both the city’s main tourist attraction and one of its heavier crime areas. Visible police patrols have cut down on the latter. The kids in the video were evidently skateboarding in an area where that’s prohibited, when the officer pulled up and told them to stop.

It appears that the officer told everyone to stop skateboarding and was in the process of leaving. However, one kid had his IPOD playing in his ears and probably didn’t hear him. After the kid is told again to stop skateboarding, he talks to the officer disrespectfully. The officer goes to confiscate his skateboard but the kid doesn’t comply, which leads to the officer forcefully collecting it from him. The kid obviously didn’t show any respect to the officer and deserved to get pushed around, while the officer obviously has some attitude (and probably authority complex) problems he needs to work out.

WBAL has a story about the suspension here.

Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department and the mayor’s office, says the incident involving Officer Salvatore Rivieri, a 17-year-old [sic] veteran, is the subject of an internal affairs investigation.

The video, apparently shot last summer, shows Rivieri putting the youth, 14-year-old Eric Bush, into a headlock and pushing him to the ground.

Rivieri told The Sun on Sunday that he did not know that the incident had been recorded or posted on the Internet. He acknowledged having encounters with skateboarders at the Inner Harbor, where skateboarding is banned, last summer, and told a reporter that he would watch the video on YouTube.

What do you think?