The altercation between Baltimore Police Officer Salvatore Rivieri and the skateboarding teen, Eric Bush, at the Inner Harbor two summers ago continues to spark debate. The news here is that a judge threw out Eric's lawsuit saying he filed too late.

We also learned that Rivieri faces three departmental charges -- using a discourtesy and excessive and unnecessary force. He's awaiting word on his punishment and could then challenge the ruling at a departmental trial board.


The views on his actions (the video is below) are still viewed in the extreme, which is what happens when attorneys get involved. I wrote an update on the case in Sunday's paper.

Here are some viewpoints I got over the weekend:

Amazing. ... I'm the daughter of a retired police officer as well as a mom of a son that skateboards. This officer had NOTHING better to do then to harras these young boys.  Most of the kids that skateboard (that I know) are good if not great kids. They are at an age where they have found skateboarding and it keeps them out of trouble.  This officer should be sent to the worst part of Baltimore City in order to FIGHT REAL CRIMES like drugs, murders, muggings, etc.

I do not believe this you man was a "threat" to the officer. Obviously, this officer has never been threaten  in a real crime. I find it sad that this young man's mom filed the charges too late. ... I would have LOVED to have seen this officer pay the price for harassing this young man.  The things that came out of this officer's mouth and his obvious anger was TOTALLY uncalled for.

Why in the world would this officer have displayed SUCH anger and verbal abuse to a 14 year old kid?

From another reader:

In the past my son has also skateboarded in the inner harbor. For the most part the police understand kids will be kids and as long as they are not bothering anyone they leave them alone.
I would guess this officer needed to show how important he was and knew he couldn't get away with his gestapo tactics with an adult. It's a shame one bad cop spoils it for all the other good ones.

And from Rosalind Heid:

Get a grip Baltimore City - you need to put your officers in the path of real crime; not some petty offense where these young men are, heaven forbid, skateboarding! What kind of a city is Baltimore? Will citizens just sit on their hands and watch a police officer and his family destroyed and say nothing?  How can Officer Salvatore Rivieri pay $1 million if Eric Bush and his mom win their lawsuit?

I am appalled the Bush family would pursue this flimsy case – but as they say, "follow the money."  I live in the Inner Harbor and have seen the damage skateboarders do.  I have also been threatened and intimidated by them when I had "the nerve" to ask that they desist from destroying the marble steps of the Columbus statue near where I live. Many pedestrians also have had dangerous encounters with skateboarders since public safety is not their concern.

As a tax-paying resident of the city, it sickens me to think of the money this worthless case is costing in terms of court time and defense attorney fees.  And let's not forget what it must be doing to police morale! If Eric Bush and his mom win their case, I'll be ashamed to call myself a Baltimorean.

She added in a separate e-mail: I think you owe it to your readers just how much this case is costing taxpayers in terms of legal fees and court time. How is officer Rivieri paying his attorneys? Police officers don't make all that much money and the cost must be staggering. Or is the police union handling it. Since the case is against Officer Rivieri personally, is his union responsible or is the Police Department? You say there are "hundreds of pages of letter and legal motions with lawyers bickering...." this costs money. Also, is there a "discovery process" involved that would allow the complainants access to Rivieri's personnel file. Face it, Eric Bush and his mom are just "dialing for dollars" - in millions. I respect the police and think it is obscene the citizens of Baltimore are mute about this waste of money and damage to a police officer's livelihood. I circulated a petition here in the Inner Harbor and collected many signatures in support of Officer Rivieri. I never met the man but everyone who knew him said he was a "great cop." It sickens me to see the contempt being shown him now.

Here's the YouTube video: