This one’s been making the rounds over the past couple days:
It’s amazing how quickly the situation escalates. Sure, the young man would have done well to keep his mouth shut, but it obviously didn’t take much to set Officer Rivieri off. Physical force was completely uncalled for here, and it will be interesting to see what comes of this. Rivieri is currently on paid suspension pending an investigation.
Whenever footage like this goes viral, a few commenters predictably come along arguing that it’s the citizen’s fault for failing to be fully cooperative and deferential to the police officer. And along these lines, it is always our advice to refrain from “talking back” in any way. Regardless, being rude to cops may be stupid, but it isn’t a crime. Using physical force to settle an argument is. So insisting that one should expect to get roughed up for “talking back” is to rationalize and tolerate widespread police brutality. Let’s not.
It shouldn’t even be necessary to explain why police must have more control over their temper and emotions than the people they deal with on the street.