Judge Upholds ‘Skateboard Cop’ Firing

Monday, February 28, 2011 – John Patti and Anne Kramer
A Baltimore judge today upheld the firing of a city police officer who got into a confrontation with a skateboarder at the Inner Harbor several years ago that then was featured in a YouTube video.

Michael Marshall, an attorney for former Officer Salvatore Rivieri says that Circuit Court Judge Cox upheld Rivieri’s firing last summer by Commissioner Fred Bealefeld.

“The judge essentially said because the police commissioner had discretion to increase the punishment he was not going to upset the decision the commissioner made to increase the punishment from 6 days loss of leave, 6 days suspension without pay and a written reprimand all the way up to termination,” says Marshall.

He says they will now most likely be filing an appeal to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

Marshall believes that Commissioner Fred Bealefeld terminated Rivieri because of what aired on YouTube. He adds the allegations of misconduct regarding what aired on YouTube were allegations for which Rivieri was found not guilty.

He says there was a reference made by the judge in court today if Rivieri could effectively work with the public. Marshall says there was no evidence indicating that Rivieri would have any problems working with the public. And he says the officer had been returned to full duty working in patrol in the year or so between the incident and the trial board and interacted with no problems.

Marshall says Rivieri was obviously very disappointed by the judge’s ruling today.

A City Police spokesman tells WBAL Radio they are bound by statute not to talk about the case.


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