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YouTube Video Leads to Officer's Suspension

A Baltimore police officer, Salvatore Rivieri, was suspended yesterday after a YouTube video showed him bullying and pushing a fourteen year old and confiscating his skateboard.  From what I could glean from the video clip, the officer's tirade was triggered by a belief that the teenager showed disrespect when the officer told him that skateboarding at the Inner Harbor was prohibited.  And the officer's ire peaked further when the teen addressed him as dude, leading the officer to exclaim: "Don't call me dude.  A dude is someone who works on a ranch!"

We've already seen the impact that video has had in law enforcement cases -- recall last year's multiple YouTube video clips of a Florida student tasered by a campus officer after pleading "don't tase me, dude!"  But will we begin seeing videos of abusive behavior in other contexts?  For example, could a video of a law professor using the Socratic method to humiliate a student (like this) make its rounds on the Web? What about a law partner berating an associate for screwing up an assignment? And is the threat of e-shaming through YouTube sufficient incentive to stop people -- either police officers or law partners or nasty supervisors -- from behaving badly?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on February 12, 2008 at 03:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)


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