Video Of Officer's Actions Played Major Role In Firing
The Baltimore Sun via YellowBrix
March 01, 2011
The attorney cited Bealefeld’s meeting last year with Rivieri, just before firing him, in which the commissioner told him he had brought discredit on the Police Department and the city. He said Bealefeld repeatedly cited the video, when “the only things on the video relate to charges my client was found not guilty of.”
“I think it was a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the commissioner,” Marshall told the judge. “It was based on a public relations issue, not based on the law. The decision has to be based on what he was found guilty of, not what the commissioner thinks he should have been found guilty of. … He did not bring public disgrace on the department by not writing a minor report.”
But Mark Grimes, the Police Department’s legal affairs chief, argued that Bealefeld has wide discretion in such cases and is allowed to consider the totality of the case before him.
Grimes called the video an “international incident” that cast a pall on the city and police, and said Rivieri’s decision to not write a report or officially document the encounter was not minor but “tantamount to a cover-up.”
The city attorney noted that Rivieri “felt the need to physically restrain a minor. He felt the need to physically push a minor and confiscated his belongings.” How could the officer, Grimes asked, “feel no need to report this?”