With all the talk of “union busting” going on as many states attempt to come to terms with their budget crises, the Baltimore Police Department is showing the world just how tough it can be to take action against a police union member, and more importantly, how difficult it is for a police commissioner to reign in a police force that appears to believe that roughing up kids is a good way to interact with the public.
As many will remember Baltimore Police officer Salvatore Rivieri was caught on video back in February of 2008 being an abusive, authoritarian ass to a 14-year-old skateboarder. Thanks to Youtube the officer was suspended. Then, two years later a police board found the officer ‘not guilty on charges of using excessive and unnecessary force and uttering a discourtesy.”
In August of 2010, three years after the original incident, Rivieri was finally fired from his job as a Boston Police officer. The union representing the officer, Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 3, claimed that the officer’s firing sent “the wrong message to all our police officers” and they fought his firing.
Now, On Monday, February 28, 2011, a judge has reportedly upheld the firing, according to a story in the Baltimore Sun. But apparently this entire issue is not over yet.
The ruling by Judge Sylvester B. Cox sets the stage for an appeal, which lawyers said is likely, promising continued debate over Salvatore Rivieri’s actions and his vitriolic lecture on parenting and youthful indifference that was watched by hundreds of thousands of people on YouTube. . . “The court is not here to second-guess the police commissioner,” Cox ruled after hearing arguments in a courtroom filled with Rivieri’s family and former colleagues on the force. “The commissioner acted well within his discretion. This court is not going to disrupt his position.”
The original video has now been viewed over 5 millions times. Sounds like former officer Rivieri should hang up the badge and get a reality TV show. People obviously enjoy watching him lose it on video.
[Link: Baltimore Sun]