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Salvatore Rivieri (Will the real Rod Farva please stand up?)

Does anyone wonder if Salvatore Rivieri was the inspiration for the Farva character in Super Troopers? Watch this video and judge for yourself.

This is what happens when you hire police officers without screening their psychological profile first.

Officer Salvatore Rivieri, a 17-year veteran of the Baltimore police force, is the subject of an internal-affairs investigation for his behavior in the video below.


Wow, talk about Eric Cartman syndrome.

Jon Katz says, about the incident:

Here’s another example why people should shine the light of day on police abuse with their cameraphones, and why strong legal protections need to be in place for videotaping, photographing, and recording police. This abortion of justice by this now-suspended cop took place in broad daylight near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, which ordinarily is swarming with visitors, working people, and car traffic throughout daylight hours. If this cop was ready to be so abusive in such a public place, I shudder to think what he tried to get away with under the cover of darkness. (source)


I sadly predict that Officer Rivieri will receive no punishment for his actions. I’m stunned that anyone thinks that his behavior was appropriate. (Survey on Baltimore Sun site)

I wonder how he treats his wife and children.

It seems strange that in a political climate where it seems like calls for “penalty enhancements” and new laws echo from every crevice and cranny, there are so few calls for checks on police abuse. I recall a trip to Berlin, of all places, and a police officer stopped me and a friend because we had three bicycles with us (another friend got really drunk and couldn’t possibly ride his home). I immediately went into dealing with the police mode. My friend, Leo, respectfully declined to show his ID. I thought “man, we’re going to jail.” My limited knowledge of German was enough to tell me that we were going to get a nightstick beat-down.

But then the cops apologized for disturbing us and told us to have a good evening. Leo explained to me that Germans have had their share of over-zealous police, what with the nazis and the East German Stasi and all. He started telling me about laws they have in Germany that sound exactly like the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. I sadly told him that we have those in America too, but they don’t mean a thing anymore. Sadly, this was in 1991, before the Bill of Rights really took a beating.

I then considered the irony… that you are more free standing on soil that was part of the third reich than on soil that is fertilized with blood spilled during the American Revolution.

If you are reading this, I blame you for that. Don’t worry, I blame myself too. We have all sat back and allowed this to happen.

It isn’t that we don’t love our freedom. It is that it has been nibbled away, tiny piece by tiny piece.

“Liberty—the freedom from unwarranted intrusion by government—is as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark.” —United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)

You, and I, are part of the problem — unless we get off our asses and become part of the solution.

At the very least, pick up a piece of paper, a pen, an envelope, and a stamp (or fax a letter) to Baltimore’s Mayor telling her exactly how you feel about this incident. I don’t care if Rivieri’s prior 17 years of service are completely unblemished. He is clearly mentally unstable, clearly abusive, and just imagine what he would have done if this was under cover of night somewhere. This man shouldn’t be a meter maid, let alone a cop. Here is Mayor Dixon’s info. Let her know how you feel, especially if you happen to live in Baltimore.

Mayor Sheila Dixon
City Hall, Room 250
100 N. Holliday Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Phone (410) 396-3835
Fax (410) 576-9425

And no… I’m not anti-cop (not in the least). Most of my experiences with the police have been positive. I want scumbags like this off the force to make room for more good cops. For every Rivieri, there are 10 young and idealistic public servants who would love to have his job. Lets give it to one of them.

Oh, and if you bump into Officer Rivieri, call him “dude”. Well, either that or Officer Farva.


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