OK, in his defense, I could see why the cop blew a gasket. I mean, when he joined the force, I'm sure Rivieri dreamt of "Starsky and Hutch" style car chases in high performance police cruisers tearing up the streets of Baltimore. Instead, he has to putt around in a golf cart. I feel his pain. Really I do.
And then, while cruising his beat on some pedestrian bridge, he rolls up and has to deal with a typical teenage skate punk who initially wasn't intimidated by his bike shorts and beer belly. Thats enough to push any frustrated, badge-wearing, gun-toting authority whore over the edge.
This is something that would have probably gone un-noticed, except for stories passed around the school by the kids involved. But since one of the teens happened to have a video camera rolling, the whole scene was caught on tape and gives the news departments across the country some controversy to stir up when they aren't talking about Obama and Hillary.
In a letter to the editor of The Baltimore Sun, one person went to great lengths to make the cop look as bad as possible, while completely exonerating the kid:
Although skateboarding is more popular than Little League baseball, with more than 12 million kids in America skateboarding today, the public persists in demonizing skating as some sort of destructive, menacing threat to public safety instead of seeing it for what it really is - a safe and extremely creative form of healthy exercise.
Second, while the cop was clearly over the top on the scale of anger towards the kid, had the 14 year old just played the game and responded with "Yes, officer. I'm sorry." this would have been a non-issue. The cop went balistic when his authority was questioned. And god forbid you should ever question the authority of a police officer. Especially when he looks like an overweight meter maid.
So was officer Rivieri justified in wrenching the board away from the kid and throwing him to the ground? I am sure this is something that the media will be talking about for several days.