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Baltimore cop who berated skateboarder fired

Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III this morning fired the city officer who was caught on video berating and pushing a 14-year-old skateboarder at the Inner Harbor three years ago.

A department spokesman confirmed the personnel action but refused to comment further. The spokesman said the officer, Salvatore Rivieri, was told of the termination during a meeting with Bealefeld at 9:30 this morning at headquarters.

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Last month, a three-member police panel called a trial board held a hearing and found Rivieri, a 19-year veteran, guilty of failing to issue the youth a citizen contact receipt and failing to file a report, but not guilty of using excessive and unncessary force and uttering a discourtesy.

The panel recommended that Bealefeld suspend Rivieri for several days. But Bealefeld has the discretion to up the penalty, and he opted to fire the officer whose actions were displayed on video and seen around the world.

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Here's more from the most recent Baltimore Sun story:

The video, which was posted online by one of the skateboarder's friends, became an Internet sensation in part because of Rivieri's rant on the ever-contentious topic of whether teens pay enough deference to authority. Rivieri became enraged when Eric Bush, listening to an iPod, appeared to ignore him and later repeatedly referred to the officer as "dude" and "man."

At one point, Rivieri told Bush: "Don't get defensive with me, son, or you'll spend some time in juvenile. You aren't allowed to ride your skateboards down here, nowhere."

Then, Rivieri went on his now-famous rant:

"Obviously your parents don't put a foot in your butt quite enough because you don't understand the meaning of respect," the officer screamed at Bush. "First of all, you better learn how to speak. I'm not 'man.' I'm not 'dude.' I am Officer Rivieri, and the sooner you learn that the longer you're going to live in this world. You go around doing this kind of stuff, somebody's going to kill you."

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