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Baltimore Cop V.S. the Skateboarder: Farva Looses his Cool
February 12, 2008 4:46 PM   Subscribe

Baltimore Police Officer V.S. the Skateboarder. (video) Officer, Salvatore "Farva" Rivieri, has been suspended and is the subject of an internal affairs investigation. "Hey, let's pop some Viagras and issue tickets with raging, mega-huge boners." Now gimme a litre o' cola!
posted by augustweed (129 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I hear a noise in the distance... sounds like a hammer.
posted by tkchrist at 4:50 PM on February 12, 2008


policebrutalityfilter + baltimorefilter
posted by empath at 4:51 PM on February 12, 2008


Man, what a jerk.
posted by boo_radley at 4:54 PM on February 12, 2008


I AM NOT MAN. I AM NOT DUDE
posted by generalist at 4:55 PM on February 12, 2008


Fucking christ. I was just on a run here in Baltimore, and even though it was 25 degrees and the roads were slick as shit and it was dark there were still idiots trying to cruise me in the park. I got incredibly pissed, beyond all rationality, and started cursing Baltimore for the shithole that it often is. I finally calmed down after some dinner and a realistic appraisal that it can't be Baltimore's fault per se that it can't even host a proper winter storm. Now this. Sometimes I hate this fucking place and the fuckers who think it's a good place to live.
posted by OmieWise at 4:56 PM on February 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


I AM DEVO
posted by boo_radley at 4:56 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Anyone that uses 'You disrespected me" needs to be fired anyway.

That guy is a prick. Mind you, if he had one, he'd not be so angry at the world.
posted by Brockles at 4:57 PM on February 12, 2008


"You keep running around doing this stuff, somebody is gonna kill you!"

Yeah, the cops.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:00 PM on February 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh, the end. Hilarious. "You got that camera on? If I find myself on Y..." HA!
posted by mrgrimm at 5:01 PM on February 12, 2008 [6 favorites]


Real men put 14 year old kids in headlocks and then forcibly push them to the ground. If he wasn't doing it to "respect" his badge and his department, we'd commonly call it "assault on a minor."
posted by gcbv at 5:02 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Respect mah authoritah!
posted by anthill at 5:05 PM on February 12, 2008


RESPECK MY AUTHORA-TIE!
posted by ColdChef at 5:05 PM on February 12, 2008


It's not his fault! If you had to wear a bumblebee costume and ride around in a golf cart you'd probably be an asshole too.
posted by aspo at 5:05 PM on February 12, 2008 [27 favorites]


Jinx!
posted by ColdChef at 5:06 PM on February 12, 2008


My outrage isn't really flaring up like it usually does, though. I mean, there's no taser, no beating, no upending paraplegics out of wheelchairs...
posted by anthill at 5:08 PM on February 12, 2008


The last thing you hear on the video is, "You got that camera on? 'Cause if I find myself on video I'm" ...

Gonna get fired?
posted by jayder at 5:09 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ugh, cannot watch to end.

Would someone with a legitimate degree in psychology or psychiatry please explain to me what is wrong with this rotund and roaring gentleman? My lay person's theory is that he is an asshole in desperate need of having his chicklets punched out.
posted by fleetmouse at 5:11 PM on February 12, 2008


Reminds me of an incident that my boyfriend was involved in a couple months ago.

This was on the night of his company's year-end holiday party. It was about 2:00, 2:30am and he and a couple members of his work group had just left Howl at the Moon at the Power Plant and were waiting at the circle outside the Power Plant area for taxis. They saw a group of police officers gesture at a random, unassuming guy nearby who was also hanging around. The guy looks around--trying to figure out if the officers are talking to him--and when he realizes they are he goes on over, completely friendly and open because he has no idea what they want nor what's going to happen next.

As soon as he gets near the officers, they jump him, drag him behind the hedgerow that provides a semi-opaque barrier between the Power Plant court and the street, and begin brutally beating him. My boyfriend and his coworkers cannot believe this is happening. They can hear the guy yelling and screaming and the thuds of the nightsticks. They have no idea what to do--my boyfriend almost jumps the hedge to go help the guy before his boss pulls him back, realizing that a semi-intoxicated civilian going after cops, even asshole cops, is possibly the worst move right now. The cops are fairly hidden so they can't get badge numbers, and Jesus, these are cops on a rampage and they've all been drinking, so they're too afraid to try get closer and get more information. So they grab taxis and go home. I'd never seen him so angry and frustrated. What do you do? You can't call 911, because what are THEY going to do, call more cops? And none of them had a video camera or anything on them. Some poor schlub got his ass beat for some Bodymore cops' power jollies. Fucking disgusting.
posted by schroedinger at 5:11 PM on February 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Aspo nailed it... he's a victim of his uniform... nice shorts, eh?
posted by HuronBob at 5:12 PM on February 12, 2008


I certainly hope he gets fired.
It reminds me alot of this, which I posted last year.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:13 PM on February 12, 2008


Where are the Police Apologists, those authority-loving cringemonkeys who'll blame the kid and explain how the fascist in question just HAD to demean those kids because they were skateboarding. Oh, and using the word "dude."

Little punk asses had it coming, right?
posted by John of Michigan at 5:14 PM on February 12, 2008


You
Are
Fired
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:19 PM on February 12, 2008


So my impressions of the Baltimore PD come from this and The Wire. Even though the fake cops on the TV show may rough up some of the kids on the corner, they still act a lot more professional than that clown. I don't think cops in the Western would be caught dead in oompa loompa short pants uniform driving around a golf cart rousting kids skateboarding and saying "dude".
posted by birdherder at 5:20 PM on February 12, 2008


I remember when I was in my early twenties, a dickhead cop like that was hassling me. I asked him if he used his big manly gun instead of his tiny penis to please his wife.

Fortunately the billy-club didn't break any ribs...
posted by SteveTheRed at 5:20 PM on February 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hmmmm... You know, I suspect that videos such as these will only continue to increase in number. We have been struggling to set down guidelines with our kid about what is cool and what is not cool to film. Then, once something has been filmed, what is cool to post on the web for others to see? I had not foreseen a circumstance such as this, wherein a surreptitiously placed cell phone camera can lead to the routing of an obviously unstable police officer. I guess I am going to have to put that on the "permissible filming/posting" list for the kid: you MAY film asshole cops and post it to the web. Hell, use my camera, it's better than yours.
posted by msali at 5:23 PM on February 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


John of Michigan writes: Where are the Police Apologists, those authority-loving cringemonkeys who'll blame the kid and explain how the fascist in question just HAD to demean those kids because they were skateboarding. Oh, and using the word "dude."

Don't worry, they will show up and say something stupid such as the officer had every right to take away the skateboard as it could have been used as a weapon, or that in such a dangerous situation the police officer can't tell usual kids from murderous crack dealers, etc.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:24 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


The officer had every right to take away the skateboard as it could have been used as a weapon. In such a dangerous situation the police officer can't tell usual kids from murderous crack dealers.
posted by Dr. Curare at 5:29 PM on February 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


Are you sure that's a cop, and not a security guard? Surely a real cop wouldn't be caught dead in one of those tiny things.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:32 PM on February 12, 2008


That was pretty shitty behavior on the part of that cop. Unacceptable, even.

But this, from the accompanying news article, is also pretty shitty:
"The video came to the attention of police after a Sun reporter e-mailed the 3 1/2 minute link to the police Sunday morning."


I thought newspapers were supposed to report the news, not create it.
posted by dersins at 5:34 PM on February 12, 2008


WHAT
THE
FUCK
BALTIMORE.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 5:35 PM on February 12, 2008


Dersins, I took that to mean that the newspaper discovered it somehow (the kids sent it to them? they found it on YouTube?), and then sent it to the police to get their side of the story. I don't think that's necessarily creating news.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:36 PM on February 12, 2008


I guess I should also say I like living in Baltimore. You wouldn't want to raise a family here, or really let anyone under the age of 18 anywhere near here for more than a couple of weeks. But it has its own charming quirks, distinct neighborhoods and has been a pretty good city to get my first taste of post-high school independence. You get to see all ranges of human experience here in a couple of blocks, the good and the ugly. Mostly the ugly. But sometimes the good!

OK, so objectively, it's a shithole. No denying that. This city doesn't have issues, it has the whole goddamn subscription. But I still love it, and sure, it's the kind of love a battered wife has for her husband (and I think that's the kind of love anyone who loves Baltimore feels), but dammit, it's my shithole. It's our shithole.
posted by schroedinger at 5:38 PM on February 12, 2008


John of Michigan writes: Where are the Police Apologists, those authority-loving cringemonkeys who'll blame the kid and explain how the fascist in question just HAD to demean those kids because they were skateboarding.

Well, googling "salvatore farva riviera" got this as the first hit. Knock yourself out...
posted by the other side at 5:39 PM on February 12, 2008


What an asshole. The cop in this video could be a clone of one I had a run-in with years ago. Its no wonder cops get a bad rap.
posted by curlyelk at 5:39 PM on February 12, 2008


the other side, thanks for that link. Now I need a shower.

Here's the story. I've got a kid, and he's ten now. If, in a few years, he's out skateboarding where he shouldn't be, well, then, he's going to face the consequences. I have no problem at all with that. Apparently skateboarding IS a crime.

But if the cop fails to treat my son with the same respect he would treat me (and, as I'm a standard middleaged whiteboy, cops tend to treat me nicely. No tasings in my future; god bless white privilege, knowwhatI'msayin'), then we have a problem.

If Officer Dougnuts-and-Tight-Pants has trouble with being called "dude," well, shit, I don't know what to say. If he can't handle the pressures of having his tiny esteem challenged, he should get the fuck out of law enforcement.
posted by John of Michigan at 5:48 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I get respect by beating up 14 year old kids and stealing their skateboards.

You hear me? RESPECT MY AUTHORITY!!!
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 5:57 PM on February 12, 2008


Where are the Police Apologists, those authority-loving cringemonkeys

they're silent. the kid's white.
posted by matteo at 6:09 PM on February 12, 2008 [8 favorites]


This is why I am not moving to Baltimore.
posted by fraxil at 6:13 PM on February 12, 2008


Lookit it from the cops point of view. If they made you ride in that little go-cart, and put you in that ridiculous outfit, you'd be cranky, too.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:15 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


It reminds me alot of this, which I posted last year.

Your thread on the Arkansas incident came immediately to mind when coming across this FPP.
posted by ericb at 6:20 PM on February 12, 2008


Wow. I have to admit to being really torn on this one. I didn't like that the cop got physical with the kid, and probably shouldn't have taken his skateboard - but as for the lecture and dressing down? I don't have a problem with it.

I'm not anti-skateboarder, and I'm very sympathetic that these kids often don't have a place to skate. I was lucky when I was young, I played basketball, soccer and tennis and there were ample appropriate places to go after school to do those things. Skate parks aren't as common and kids are forced to go to public places. And that creates a not-so-delicate dance between kids, shopkeepers, and customers

The area around my two pet stores around 3:00 every day becomes like the Indianapolis 500. Kids in the parking lot weaving in and out from between cars and customers. They have little to no consideration for the people around them, seem to think it's really fun and cool to swear as loudly and obnoxiously as possible, even when moms are pushing strollers right next to them, and I've seen them litter 5 feet from a garbage can. I'm reticent to do anything because I figure I'll come to work the next day with a busted out front window.

What we need to do is create more places where they can skate, because they are a menace skating where they shouldn't. If this cop did this in the Plaza where I have my store? I'd probably buy him a beer.
posted by vito90 at 6:32 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, the end. Hilarious. "You got that camera on? If I find myself on Y..." HA!
posted by mrgrimm at 5:01 PM on February 12


lolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

Gosh, I don't understand why people don't respect the police.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:33 PM on February 12, 2008


"Paul Blair, head of the police union, had not seen the video but he warns that videos show only part of a story."

yeah. cos, the kid was like wearing his cap backwards and looking all anti-authoritarian. you kids need to learn some fucking respect! *smack*

i think the "part of the story" we are missing is this jerk staying in the force for 17 years before someone caught him being an asshole. If there's one thing i've learned it's that people who abuse positions of power once will do it time and time again, every single time they think they can get away with it.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:34 PM on February 12, 2008


Back in the day before youtube and skater kids with cheap video cameras everywhere - the cop wouldn't get fired.

The kids would probably have their skateboards taken away, and also would run the risk of being outright assaulted by the cops.

Go YouTube! Keep the cameras rolling, kids!
posted by loquacious at 6:36 PM on February 12, 2008 [12 favorites]


In the dictionary of the future, under the entry "douche-lord", will be a link to this video.
posted by danherwig at 6:36 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hahaha! The end was the best part. "Is that camera on? If I find myself on youtu–"
posted by patr1ck at 6:41 PM on February 12, 2008


FIRST THEY WENT AFTER THE DOCKS

THEN THEY WENT AFTER THE SCHOOLS

ITS YOUR TURN, 14 YEAR OLDS
posted by tremspeed at 6:43 PM on February 12, 2008


Guh. I need to read the whole thread before I post.
posted by patr1ck at 6:43 PM on February 12, 2008


I thought newspapers were supposed to report the news, not create it.

spikelee's right; emailing the cop the link is perfectly normal procedure; it's not "creating news" to offer the subject of that kind of video a chance to responde before going to print. It's basic fairness and good journalism.
posted by mediareport at 6:58 PM on February 12, 2008


i think the "part of the story" we are missing is this jerk staying in the force for 17 years before someone caught him being an asshole.

Yep
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:00 PM on February 12, 2008




Back in the day before youtube and skater kids with cheap video cameras everywhere - the cop wouldn't get fired.

He's still not fired, only transfered - with pay - to an administrative position. Though they keep saying 'suspended' the B'more Sun article indicated otherwise (after opening with a 'suspended' statement)


Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department and the mayor's office, said authorities have begun an internal-affairs investigation.
[...]
Clifford said Rivieri's suspension entails a transfer to administrative duties with pay.


Disclosure: self links follow because they're easier for me to find.

Adult-on-kid insanity is going around in our area, and so is a complete lack of apology about it . Listen to the voice message in the first link there and tell me if you think it's reasonable for Tistadt to say there will be "no apologies out of my family."

What's amazing to me isn't just that it happens - there's loonies everywhere - but that people seem to think the technology catching them is to blame rather than their committing the acts in the first place.
posted by phearlez at 7:04 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Where are the Police Apologists, those authority-loving cringemonkeys who'll blame the kid and explain how the fascist in question just HAD to demean those kids because they were skateboarding.

Perhaps Metafilter doesn't have any "police apologists," in the sense you mean. It's true that from time to time people will fail to exhibit the appropriate level of outrage at unsubstantiated reports of ostensible police abuse, but I don't think this quite counts as being a "police apologist."
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 7:09 PM on February 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Don't tase me br... I mean, Office Rivieri!
posted by schoolgirl report at 7:11 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Calling a cop "dude?" You'd better believe that's a paddling.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:11 PM on February 12, 2008 [8 favorites]


Paul Blair, head of the police union, had not seen the video...

All you need to know about his comments. Please try to have a basis for your opinions before expressing them in the media, hm?

I try to be as sympathetic to the cops as possible, my cousin is the head of the bomb squad for lower Manhattan and all, but I'm sorry, an asshole is an asshole. Who cares if the kid "disrespected" him for fuck's sake? He put a nonviolent 14 year old in a headlock, on video, he should be up on charges for assault, period.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 7:26 PM on February 12, 2008


A crazed meter maid. Or do actual cops get those odd little cars in Baltimore?
posted by IronLizard at 7:36 PM on February 12, 2008


This reminds me of a time when I was like 12 and my father was yelling at me for fighting with my sister. Attempting to interject that my sister deserved some of the blame, I began by saying "But, man..." but my dad interrupted: "I'm not a man, I'm your FATHER!"

I laughed until I cried, and steam came out of his ears.

Also, goddamnit I hate cops. I hope this guy ends up a Wal-Mart greeter.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 7:42 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


My simple solution for police (and politician) accountability:
- Constant audio & video surveillance while on-duty. (audio-only if video is not feasible)
- Double criminal penalties for crimes commited under color of authority.

Also, this guy should not just lose his job, he should be charged with assault on a minor and battery. But instead, he'll at worst get transferred to a cushy desk job. They protect their own.

Garbage. Human garbage.
posted by LordSludge at 7:42 PM on February 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


"The sooner you learn that, the longer you are going to live in this world. Because you go around doing this kind of stuff and somebody is going to kill you"

Ironic he should say that. Kids grow up.

"They have little to no consideration for the people around them, seem to think it's really fun and cool to swear as loudly and obnoxiously as possible, even when moms are pushing strollers right next to them, and I've seen them litter 5 feet from a garbage can. I'm reticent to do anything because I figure I'll come to work the next day with a busted out front window."

So, is vito90 a police apologist?
Seems a completely reasonable point to make. I'm unclear on the challenge. Who would posit anyone, especially a police officer, assaulting a minor as a good thing?
posted by HVAC Guerilla at 7:52 PM on February 12, 2008


So, can the kid calmly tell this sack of shit that he's being aggro like this because he has a thumbdick? is that illegal? I cant imagine myself staying as silent as this kid. I wouldnt run away or fight or anything, but it sure would be hard for me to not make fun of his uniform and buggy. Would I get into more trouble for that? Is there a law against saying "fuck you" to a cop?
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 8:07 PM on February 12, 2008


I dunno Elmer, is a sense of self-preservation a 'law?'
posted by phearlez at 8:10 PM on February 12, 2008


Oh, and drug/steroid testing should be mandatory for all law enforcement. Waaaay too much aggression out there, and I bet 'roids are a significant part of it.

What is so frustrating about cases like this is that if a cop goes all crazy sociopath, you can't defend yourself in any way. You can't even call the cops, because when they arrive on the scene they will always back the offending cop, without question, regardless of how out of line he is.

So you have an insane person, armed with lethal weaponry, attacking you or someone you love (what if the kid in the video was your son and this was going down right in front of you?) and there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it.

In other news...
posted by LordSludge at 8:11 PM on February 12, 2008


I love cops.
posted by nola at 8:12 PM on February 12, 2008


Where are the Police Apologists

Right here. My two best and oldest friends are a NYPD sergeant and an FBI Supervisory Special Agent, and I an generally ready to take the cop's side if there seems to be one - but they'd be only slightly less appalled at this than I am. That's one shitty cop.
posted by nicwolff at 8:14 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Where are the Police Apologists

ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS MAGGOT
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:18 PM on February 12, 2008


"I eat little pieces of shit like you for breakfast!"

"You eat little pieces of shit for breakfast?"
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:20 PM on February 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Another thing--Baltimore is actually in the midst of a meter-maid scandal. See, over the summer these pay-for-parking boxes replaced the old traditional parking meters. You could use your credit card, cash, or change to pay for a ticket that was as long as you liked, rather than fishing for quarters and running out to replace the time. This has been incredibly effective in reducing parking tickets. Too effective, in fact, because parking officers can no longer find enough illegally parked cars to fill their quotas, and their administration has seen a massive drop in revenue. Which puts their jobs on the line. So the meter maids have started writing false tickets, which was brought public by the Examiner (I think) and has now instigated an investigation that's still ongoing. Here's the latest.
posted by schroedinger at 8:20 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the other side's link:
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.

Is "one of its heavier crime areas" supposed to be a joke? Cause it's definitely not a "heavier crime area."
posted by Airhen at 8:34 PM on February 12, 2008


So the meter maids have started writing false tickets

This has been true for years.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:34 PM on February 12, 2008


Baltimore, geez, no wonder the Colts left.
posted by brickman at 8:38 PM on February 12, 2008


vito90's comment leads me to an important question: Who gives two fucksticks about kids skateboarding?


When did we become a society of crotchety old men yelling at kids to get off our collective lawns?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:44 PM on February 12, 2008


Adult-on-kid insanity is going around in our area, and so is a complete lack of apology about it . Listen to the voice message in the first link there and tell me if you think it's reasonable for Tistadt to say there will be "no apologies out of my family."
(posted by phearlez at 7:04 PM on February 12)

Here's the audio of the dean's wife's voice message (it's broken in the first link).
posted by christopherious at 8:47 PM on February 12, 2008


The system at work. Administrative suspension. Internal Affairs investigation.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:52 PM on February 12, 2008


This guy makes me feel ashamed to be Italian.

He should be fired.
posted by Skygazer at 9:04 PM on February 12, 2008


This is one of the those I-am-embarrassed-to-be-human moments. The kid is an idiot, the cop is a big, brutal idiot. Nothing terrible happened here though, the cop probably gets some letter in his personnel file and the kid probably gets a few high five at school and forgets the whole thing.

I don't have any problems with skaters except the ones who are trying to skate in crowded downtowns or do tricks off of historical monuments... and endangering people or property. I put those skaters on about the same level as guys who use city parks as driving ranges.

A cop to me is no hero, just a civil servant - one worthy of basic human dignity but not any more than that. I wish everyone had been a little more respectful here, and I was not put in the position of scrutinizing the police and residents of a city I have never visited.
posted by Deep Dish at 9:31 PM on February 12, 2008


I guess I should also say I like living in Baltimore.

Yeah, yeah, I love it too. Seriously. I just got back from seeing the New York Dolls, and David Johanssen kept say BALtimore, BALtimore, and finally explained that's how he heard it pronounced in Emperor Jones. What's not to love?
posted by OmieWise at 9:35 PM on February 12, 2008


Awright, that's it - I'm going to start looking for info on sousveillance, in theory and practice, for a FPP.
posted by eclectist at 9:42 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is pretty normal for police. I had my fair share of run in, kid on a bicycle, on skateboard, in mall, etc. Never been arrested, but seen other kids given worse than this for no reason.

Pretty normal I'd say, cops seem to be major pricks, at least a good percentage of them...

As for places for kids to play, most cities sell parks off, they run them down by budget cuts, then when attendance goes down, they sell to as subsidies to some megamart... During the summers we try to goto parks all over the state (city/county, state for camping...). We check google maps out and goto every park. One thing we always see, rich neighborhoods have skate parks and working bathrooms, water fountains, and they are used more. Its no stretch that if the kids dont have an area to play, they hang on street corners... Dont blame kids for the city's faults.
posted by IronWolve at 9:45 PM on February 12, 2008


"This is pretty normal for police"

Wha? This is pretty weak thinking, and gross overgeneralization.

I'd say what you said is pretty normal for someone who has it out for the cops, which is a pretty irrational position to take, especially when one considers the number of cops in America, and how aberrant behavior coming from the coops doesn't exceed aberrant behavior coming from other professional and non-professional sectors.

Bad apples exist in every organization. They should be weeded out. That's a lot simpler, and more advantageous, than throwing out the whole barrel, or worse yet, trying to convince people that apples are bad.

The cop in this video was WAY off base, but it's pretty disgusting to see the weak-thinking anti-coppers in this thread trying to chill speech by calling anyone who defends good police behavior an "apologist".

Pathetic. The anti-coppers, trying to set up their own little facist state, based on the potential antipathy that someone might exhibit toward their weak opinions.

Think about what the world would be like with the police. It wouldn't be pretty.
posted by MetaMan at 10:28 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, this guy was just doing the public a huge service. Because, you know, the big problem in Baltimore is the skateboarders.

not the heroin and insane murder rate

p.s. I miss hearing more good Bawlmer accents. They make me homesick.
posted by redbeard at 10:34 PM on February 12, 2008


Money quote from Ossifer Farva: "Obviously, your parents don't put a foot in your butt quite enough! Cuz you don't understand the meaning of respect!"

Yes, respect equals fear of punishment in the tiny reptilian mind of Authoritarius Americanus.

I Hate Every Cop in This Town
posted by oncogenesis at 10:39 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


For what it is worth, I don't think the kid was being disrespectful. I'm pretty sure when he said "dude" it was not to reference the police officer, but instead an interjection, like "Dude! Did you see that?!" Or "Man, look at the size of that officer in the little car!"
posted by hellphish at 10:56 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


I used to live near there (Olney, a little crap town about halfway between DC and Baltimore). My brother still lives thereabouts, and is a skater, and so are a lot of his friends. For the most part, they're pretty normal (aside from an occasional sophomoric, Jackassian prank they pull). He'd get a kick out of this. Heck, he probably knows them.

Personally, I laughed after I got past how much of a dick Officer Dude Man is.
posted by Reth_Eldirood at 11:05 PM on February 12, 2008


dersins I posted that earlier as well> I did debate it, but the information is public and he is (was) a public servant (thought it seems he was clueless abt that). CommonSense had a diffrent link with some additional information.
I figure people may want to send him mail, or, w/o trespassing, video his movements. Maybe even invite some Jehovah Witnesses, Scientology members and Ron Paul types to pay a courtesy visit. That's not illegal. I don't think the average person is going to imperial the well-being of Officer 'Dude' Sal Ravioli.
But perhaps the public would be better served by the following:

sheila.dixon@baltimorecity.gov (Balto mayor)

dean.palmere@baltimorepolice.org (Central Distract Maj. Dean M. Palmere, Commander)

frederick.bealefeld@baltimorepolice.org (Col. Frederick H. Bealefeld III, Police Commissioner (410) 396-2020)

jwjohnson@baltimorecountymd.gov (Col. James W. Johnson, Chief (410) 887-2201)

salvatore.rivieri@baltimorepolice.org

Media outlets in Baltimore:

Baltimore Sun: 410-332-6000 (general) 410-332-6364 (news dept) publiceditor@baltsun.com letters@baltsun.com

Baltimore City Paper: (410) 523-2300

Baltimore Daily Record: Main Office Tel: 410-752-1717 Tom Linthicum Executive Editor 443-524-8150 tom.linthicum@mddailyrecord.com

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posted by dawson at 11:21 PM on February 12, 2008 [6 favorites]


I'm just wondering who it was who told all of these cops that they have some expectation of respect. They seem to think that there is some law that says that when they put on their uniform - even if it is doofus tourist shorts - they're supposed to be kowtowed to like emperors. Who's feeding them this line of bull?
posted by Dreama at 11:48 PM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bad apples exist in every organization. They should be weeded out. That's a lot simpler, and more advantageous, than throwing out the whole barrel, or worse yet, trying to convince people that apples are bad.

That's nice and all, but when you surround a bad apple with bunch of good apples so no one can see the bad apple, it spoils the entire bunch.
posted by ryoshu at 11:56 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Watching some of the other linked videos I can't help but feel sorry for some of those kids.

One video they were basically using an old pallet and a garbage can for a ramp and dickwad #1 decides to come over and just start pulling it apart because he's an adult.

Then police offer tells them all to GTFO and they do. They're a little sluggish because they're feeling dejected and then the police officer decides to make an example out of one of them.

You wonder why police don't get no respect these days. A lot of them haven't done anything to earn any respect. Some seem to believe they should have it just because of the badge and if they don't get it they take it by fear and intimidating little street punks who weren't hurting anybody or even vaguely inconveniencing anybody.

Great way to build a rapport with the young people, assholes.
posted by Talez at 12:50 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


"That's nice and all, but when you surround a bad apple with bunch of good apples so no one can see the bad apple, it spoils the entire bunch."

Nice try. Now I suppose you'll argue that apples exhibit conscious behavior.

The good cops I know want the bad cops gone more than anyone, and do their best to be rid of them.

It gets really old hearing weak, gross generalizations about any group of people - cops included.
posted by MetaMan at 1:05 AM on February 13, 2008


The good cops I know want the bad cops gone more than anyone

And yet they're so reluctant to turn them in to Internal Affairs and do what they can to perpetuate the old Blue Wall of Silence.

Strange that, isn't it?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:42 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nice try. Now I suppose you'll argue that apples exhibit conscious behavior.

You started the apple analogy. I brought the analogy to its logical conclusion.

The good cops I know want the bad cops gone more than anyone, and do their best to be rid of them.

The good cops I've known (personally) have either left the force in disgust or moved to a position where the beat doesn't get to them. The biggest problem is the blue wall of silence that goes up when an officer is accused of any wrongdoing and the cozy relationship between the PD and the DA.

It gets really old hearing weak, gross generalizations about any group of people - cops included.

After a while patterns of abuse rear their ugly head and a "group of people" may be looked down upon. Note that police officers are a self identifying group -- they decided to become police officers. If the police want to earn more respect, the "good cops" need to do a better job of weeding out the "bad cops." Otherwise us "civilians"[0] are going to retain a disdain for organizations that systematically abuse their authority.

[0] - cop term for non-cops in many jurisdictions, often used in a snide or derogatory manner
posted by ryoshu at 1:50 AM on February 13, 2008


After a while patterns of abuse rear their ugly head and a "group of people" may be looked down upon. Note that police officers are a self identifying group -- they decided to become police officers. If the police want to earn more respect, the "good cops" need to do a better job of weeding out the "bad cops." Otherwise us "civilians"[0] are going to retain a disdain for organizations that systematically abuse their authority.

Yeah, but the assumption is made that there is a "pattern of abuse" *universally*, when in fact that isn't true. Cop abuse makes headlines, fast. Unbridled authority is a scary thing - and should be, so citizens antennae go up when it's reported - like kidnappings.

The "blue wall of silence" is a metaphor for the kind of inside protection that every professional group puts up to protect its own. I agree that this wall exists, to some degree, but it's not as ominous as you and others on this thread suggest.

Citizens in a democracy need to remain eternally vigilant, regarding the maintenance and protection of their rights. And. we should all rightfully be upset when we see police abuse.

That said, I take umbrage at the gross generalizations made about police on this thread. It's like when some corporate thief is caught, you see phrases like "corporations are evil" thrown around. That's nonsense, just like most of the balderdash thrown out about hard-working cops on this thread. Most cops are good cops.
posted by MetaMan at 2:47 AM on February 13, 2008


Fuck you, Baltimore!
posted by parhamr at 3:00 AM on February 13, 2008


IANAL, but isn't this GBH?
posted by popcassady at 3:04 AM on February 13, 2008


Isn't anyone at all going to defend Sgt. Sphincter? Hmm.
posted by RussHy at 3:42 AM on February 13, 2008


Waaaay too much aggression out there, and I bet 'roids are a significant part of it.

If you had to wear a bumblebee costume and ride around in a golf cart and had hemroids....
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:11 AM on February 13, 2008


This is what happens when you put cops in those pathetic little mini-cars. It's just going to give them a complex!

What a dick.
posted by opsin at 4:22 AM on February 13, 2008


I thought newspapers were supposed to report the news, not create it.

You thought wrong.

Here's a little story for ya. I went down the Maine caucuses in Portland last weekend. Got there around 5pm... still an hour to spare, according to every piece of publicity available. Go up to the doors, and they're locked, with about 30 people standing outside. "What's going on?" I ask. "They locked us out!" comes the reply. Huh? Locked out? We still have an hour, right?

Then some official comes to the door, opens it, and proceeds to tell us that the caucuses are "over" and that we should just go home. "Bullshit! We can see there are still hundreds of people inside!" comes the retort. Oh well... dude closes and re-locks the door. Crowd starts banging on said door. Loudly.

Had I not noticed the news van parked down the street, I probably would have joined them in banging on the door. Might have broken a couple of windows. Probably would have gotten arrested. Definitely wouldn't have been able to vote. But I did notice that news van.

I knock on the window, a nice news-lady rolls it down and asks "What's up?"

"Well, I don't know if this is news or anything, but they've locked us out and are refusing to let any more people inside to caucus." I explain. You could hear her eyes get wider. "REALLY?" So we walk back down to the doors, and sure enough, there's an even bigger, rowdier mob banging on the doors. "Hold on a minute," she tells me and proceeds to haul ass back to the news van to get her cameraman.

So the two of them come back, start filming, and low and fucking behold, the doors swing open. The "official dude" actually holds the door open for us as we enter, giving us some spiel about how he was just following orders and that he's completely supportive of the democratic process.

Fucking unreal.

So yeah, the media reports what it can, but, like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, it cannot help but affect the very situation it is observing by its observation. And sometimes, very rarely, you get a happy ending.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:23 AM on February 13, 2008 [9 favorites]


[a few comments removed - posting people's home addresses is sort of not how we do things here.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:41 AM on February 13, 2008


I see this guy being played by John Goodman - he's like every shouty role he's ever had.
posted by tiny crocodile at 5:50 AM on February 13, 2008


I Hate Every Cop in This Town

wow, that's like a tee shirt with the same words as the hyperlink. Am I fucking tripping or what!?
posted by mattoxic at 6:07 AM on February 13, 2008


Whatcha gonna do when [Officer Salvatore Rivieri] comes for you?

Bad boys, bad boys ...
posted by bwg at 6:10 AM on February 13, 2008


... he's like every shouty role he's ever had.

Calmer than you are.
posted by bwg at 6:12 AM on February 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ding, ding, ding! Would this be our very first Officer Rivieri apologist? I'm sure everyone here would LOVE to hear your point of view, bwg.
posted by LordSludge at 6:38 AM on February 13, 2008


Obviously you're not a golfer.
posted by kableh at 6:39 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, skateboarding kids get hassled by asshole cops everywhere, not just in Baltimore. And I say that as an ex-Baltimoron and close friend of a retired Western district cop. In Western, they don't have time to hassle skaters, besides, there aren't hardly any, but, you know, that's the exception for cops across the USA. Actually, I am surprised to see this in Baltimore, because the cops I know there are mostly pretty nice people, if so shell shocked that they really don't bother with any crimes under murder 1. But, let's face it, you don't get assigned to tool around the Harbor in a golf cart because you're a stellar member of the force - it's just not a merit badge.

I'm also the mother of a semi skate punk 16 year old. Who I have had to pick up fairly often, recently, from the back of one or another cop car here in bucolic Asheville because "he mouthed off." Mouthing off, as far as I can tell, seems to amount to not being completely visibly terrified of the police. Teenage boys, particularly the ones not wearing Izod shirts, are fair game, apparently, and that seems to have been going on forever - my freaky looking friends in the early 80s were always being hassled, searched, berated. I'm sure there are a lot of guys here who have had similar experiences. So this video didn't really outrage or surprise me - it's more like, what did you expect? I'm glad we have the technology now to make this stuff visible. Maybe the police force will (finally) stop attracting petty bullies and small minded power mad losers to its ranks.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:45 AM on February 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


MetaMan, I'm a seriously law-abiding citizen and I have never had a remotely good experience with a US cop while they were on duty*. I've been screamed at, flatly ignored, and heard slurs and chuckles behind my back, but I have never gotten what I'd consider a normal professional response from any of them in any big city. I live in a country now where the cops conduct themselves as professionals and educated civil servants, and it's a completely different experience, like night and day. If you want to ask them something, you can, and if they want to ask you something, you don't have the feeling that you're interacting with a ticking timebomb. If you know you've done nothing wrong, you don't experience fear when a cop comes towards you and wants to talk. And I don't live in any kind of crime-free utopia, so it's a fair comparison.

* I mention the on-duty thing because I've known a few US cops socially, and they were all nice guys under those circumstances. But, having spent time with them, I would also have to say that the good cops I knew still had an terribly dehumanized and adversarial view of people outside their tribe, and in my opinion, that is the result of bad cop culture having a big influence on all cop culture because of the reluctance of all cops to marginalize bad cops. Your comparison to corporations gone bad is a good one, because inside of those organizations the majority of people were decent, but they still let things go bad because they didn't vigorously reject the corrupt behavior of their co-workers -- instead, it started to affect their own sense of reality about what is ethical. There are companies with functioning ethical guidelines and sane corporate culture and they aren't the ones which end up as front page scandals.

I respect the fact that being a police officer is a difficult and necessary job, but that is unfortunately (for the cops as well) a dysfunctional culture, and the more you believe that the majority of cops are good guys, the more it should bug you that it isn't their values which are being propagated in their work culture.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 7:04 AM on February 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


Whoa whoa whoa, his middle name is actually Farva? Like in SuperTroopers? That's too much.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 7:26 AM on February 13, 2008


I am not man. I am not dude. I am Officer Rivieri SPONGEBOB!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:50 AM on February 13, 2008


(now that my initial surge of anger has passed...)
For you listening enjoyment:
Don't Call Me Dude.
posted by Hutch at 8:57 AM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know where the rebellion is going to come from when Bush suspends the election and declares a third term for himself: Skateboarders and Critical Mass Bike riders. Two populations that are constantly dealing with police harassment.
posted by Skygazer at 9:27 AM on February 13, 2008


I don't know if I'm considered a police apologist; but I'll happily admit that I've sided with them here in the past. But the guy in this video is pretty much indefensible. I mean, watch at around the 30 second part where he goes from quietly saying "Don't get defensive with me" to roaring "Shut your mouth I'm talking!"

The entire video is peppered with threats of physical harm and he pretty much assaults the kid to get his skateboard. He is the very definition of a bully, and he most assuredly shouldn't be in any kind of position authority with the anger issues that he clearly has.

He claims that the kids are disrespecting his badge. But in reality, it's behavior like his that ruins the credibility of cops everywhere. Because for every hundred good police officers, who honestly try to help people, there is one asshole like this that makes people think that all cops are bad.

but he warns that videos show only part of a story

Really? I'd love to see any information that you might have that might mitigate the complete inappropriateness of that officers behavior.
posted by quin at 10:07 AM on February 13, 2008


What the fuck was the designer of that stairwell thinking? It looks like it was designed specifically for the purpose of skateboarding. I strongly suspect it wasn't the first time that day, or second or third, that some dick cop had to shoo kids away from it. I bet there's not even a "no skateboarding" sign.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:07 AM on February 13, 2008


I've been treated like that by cops my entire life. Lectured, shouted at, searched, tossed in jail overnight then charges dropped to "teach me a lesson," juvie hall...cause basically I was a semi-smart ass kid and young adult--nothing criminal.

My empirical observation has always been that if you don't show cops the "respect" they think they deserve, you are gonna get treatment like that to some degree. The big difference is that today, vid recording stuff is everywhere...so occasionally their behavior gets caught on tape and they can't lie and explain it away....

If there was no video and it was the cop vs the kid's word, I'm sure it would have been a "I felt threatened" excuse and the kids were doing something illegal and I didn't shout and I only took the skateboard when he tried to use it as a weapon, etc.
posted by PhiBetaKappa at 10:24 AM on February 13, 2008


The entire video is peppered with threats of physical harm and he pretty much assaults the kid to get his skateboard.

I wouldn't say 'pretty much' to describe grabbing someone in a choke-hold and throwing them to the ground, and I'm not sure you can even say it's "to get his skateboard" - there's nothing in any of the behavior or body language of that kid to imply he tried to run or would have even resisted having it taken from him, except perhaps by reflex.

One can only hope the kid is emboldened by the outcry and files an assault complaint, he's got till the time it happened this year (assuming it was Summer 2007).
posted by phearlez at 11:13 AM on February 13, 2008


I wasn't going to mention this because it's only anecdotal, but nevertheless a 'true fact'.
Originally I'm from NC, I travel a lot, but that's home. My parents have, for decades, lived in a suburb of Balto.
Many years ago, perhaps 15, when Ossifer Pasta was a rookie, I parked downtown. Before I could get out of the car some fat cop was screaming at me, face red, veins in neck throbbing, spittle foaming at mouth corners, the whole bit.
Being younger and not understanding that cops can do anything they want to you and get away with it, and since he was calling me a 'stupoid giddamn motherfucker' I went toe-to-toe with him, literally inches from his face, screaming back. Eventually, after determining that I hadn't accidentally run over his child and there wasn't an APB for a guy fitting my description, I went around to the front of my car where he was standing and bellowing like he was passing a bowling ball, where the full impact of my feckless lawlessness was reveled.
I DIDN'T HAVE A FUCKIN TAG ON THE FRONT OF MY CAR! What, Was I so GODDAMN LAZY I COULDN'T SCREW A TAG ON? etc. etc.

I walked him to the back of the car, pointed out I was from NC, and that NC did not require, or even issue tags for the front of a car. And I asked if he'd even ever been out of the county.
Then he began to bellow about my "'tude" and his having an orgasm about it.
There was a patrol car parked a half block away with a cop sitting in it. I started walking away. "Where you think yer going" he screamed. "To report you to the police" I answered.

while he was standing there like Rumpelstiltskin, the cop in the car told me he was sorry, but just ignore the guy. "He's a gray hat" (meter maid?), we blues have rapes and homicides and robberies to deal with. Ignore him, he won't bother you." Just very disdainful of the guy and what he represented.

When I thanked him and bid adieu, I noted that uber cop had vanished into the crowd.

Every since, I've had more respect that most for the "blue hats" cops in Charm City.


And I wasn't ticketed that day.
posted by dawson at 11:36 AM on February 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


metaman: The "blue wall of silence" is a metaphor for the kind of inside protection that every professional group puts up to protect its own. I agree that this wall exists, to some degree, but it's not as ominous as you and others on this thread suggest.

I'm not buying this. Yes, as somebody says above, it's a dirty & dangerous job, and we'd be worse off without a police force, but we've institutionalized a police culture that starts with "us and them" and goes downhill from there. Officer Farva is just the tip of the tentacle. Having worked as a "civilian" dealing with a Canadian municipal police dept., and played in a touring band with two off-duty members, I can tell you that the blue wall is not a metaphor. There are lots of practical reasons for it to exist, the least of which is that it makes it easier for cops (who are humans) to do their jobs.


Citizens in a democracy need to remain eternally vigilant, regarding the maintenance and protection of their rights. And. we should all rightfully be upset when we see police abuse.

I keep wondering if, instead of eternal vigilance, we should try to fix some of the societal problems that make it necessary to have a large force of armed people in big (ok, sometimes little) cars roaming the streets looking for trouble. Here in Calgary, for example, the police force sucks up more than a third of the City's budget, and in spite of all the good they do, my sense is that they spend quite a bit of that money on manipulative PR efforts designed to increase the public's sense of alarm over the lack of police resources. Although the helicopter fleet probably doesn't worry the skaters too much.
posted by sneebler at 12:12 PM on February 13, 2008


phearlez : I wouldn't say 'pretty much' to describe grabbing someone in a choke-hold and throwing them to the ground, and I'm not sure you can even say it's "to get his skateboard"

I completely agree. I used the term 'pretty much' to address the fact that the important moment where he actually grabs the kid, is out of frame and you don't actually see what happened, though I feel confident that there wasn't anything not seen that would have justified this cop's behavior.

Everything that happens after that however is still assault by 'pretty much' anyone in their right mind's standards though, so I guess I was just being overly cautious in my language.
posted by quin at 12:29 PM on February 13, 2008


Aspo : It's not his fault! If you had to wear a bumblebee costume and ride around in a golf cart you'd probably be an asshole too.

Thing I can't figure out is: How can you be (bee?) Baltimore PO-LiCE for 17 friggin' years and wind up driving a golf cart in a bumblebee outfit?

I mean what stupid thing, do you have to do, to merit such a terrible assignment? I mean there's getting busted down (as we all know from The Wire) for giving your superiors heartburn, and then, there's...getting assigned to a golf cart wearing a bumble clown outfit.

Think about it for a second or two. I derived great pleasure from it and I think you will too.

Also, I can't help thinking there's some good Baltimore cops somewhere (like Bunk and McNulty) having a drink and laughing themselves sick over this.
posted by Skygazer at 12:51 PM on February 13, 2008


Also, I can't help thinking there's some good Baltimore cops somewhere

Naw, Pembleton had to retire, Giardello got killed and Munch left Fells Point for New York.
posted by phearlez at 1:16 PM on February 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Good cops? Isn't McNulty choking dead homeless people?
posted by tkchrist at 1:40 PM on February 13, 2008


What's the harm in choking dead homeless people? Dead zombie homeless people, sure, but otherwise...
posted by hincandenza at 3:45 PM on February 13, 2008


I'm sure everyone here would LOVE to hear your point of view, bwg.

Clearly you have no sense of humour.

I mean, can you imagine a dick like Rivieri on Cops?
posted by bwg at 5:19 PM on February 13, 2008


LordSludge, it took me a day and a half to figure it out, but here's what bwg was talking about.
posted by tiny crocodile at 4:09 AM on February 14, 2008


Oh man, wow, thanks tiny crocodile. Totally missed that reference. So not one single person is defending Farva here in this thread. That's amazing... and great. On other boards there's about a 10% Farva defense rate.

I wonder what would happen if, when a cop starts hassling you and asking all sorts of questions (that you aren't required to answer), you just stare at him with a bored expression on your face, like... "are you done?"
posted by LordSludge at 6:33 AM on February 14, 2008


...when a cop starts hassling you and asking all sorts of questions (that you aren't required to answer)...

Exactly.
“The United States Supreme Court has likewise held that a citizen who does not wish to answer police questions may disregard the officer's questions and walk away. Refusal to answer an officer's questions, standing alone, does not satisfy the constitutional ‘reasonable suspicion’ test.

Under governing New York law, an individual has a constitutional right to refuse to respond to questions posed by a police officer, may remain silent, and may even walk away without fearing an arrest or detention by the officer. ‘Flight alone . . . or in conjunction with equivocal circumstances that might justify a police request for information is insufficient to justify pursuit because an individual has a right ‘to be let alone' and refuse to respond to police inquiry.’

Finally, ‘[i]n light of the recognized ‘unsettling' aspect of a police-initiated inquiry of citizens,’ some New York courts have held that nervous reaction to nonthreatening questioning is not sufficient to authorize a greater intrusion.”

posted by ericb at 9:21 AM on February 14, 2008


Also, I can't help thinking there's some good Baltimore cops somewhere (like Bunk and McNulty) having a drink and laughing themselves sick over this.

Munch!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:08 AM on February 14, 2008


Sometimes, the anti-cop kneejerkers like those upthread seem to freak out over any given cop/civilian situation, but Jesus, this guy was such a huge asshole it was almost funny.
posted by Snyder at 5:57 PM on February 15, 2008


He's back. New video from an encounter with officer douche-lord last year. This time he kicks over an RC car.
posted by danherwig at 6:27 AM on February 17, 2008


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