I take one day off from Skate and Annoy and I’m getting pummeled by this video of a Baltimore police officer berating and briefly abusing a kid. I think he’s just pissed because he got stuck driving around in that ridiculous glorified golf cart instead of a real police cruiser. He talks about the kids disrespecting the badge and the Police Department, when really he’s more disrespectful of both by being an overweight slob and a bully. Keep watching to the very end to catch the punchline.
I actually first got this from Stephanie Murdock, president of Skatepark of Baltimore. S.O.B. (Their acronym, not my doing!) is a nonprofit organization trying to get an appropriately large, well designed and constructed skatepark built in city of Baltimore. She’s sent out a sort of a press release with some intelligent thoughts on the matter. I’ve included it with the video after the jump. Please, let’s try to discuss this constructively. If you can’t be constructive, at least be amusing.
Baltimore Police officer schools a skateboarder
Skatepark of Baltimore speaks out about the incident.
Dear Skatepark of Baltimoreans,
I am writing to discuss the “Inner Harbor Internet Incident” in which an officer is suspended after a video shows him berating a teen appears on the internet. I am writing you as President of the “Skatepark of Baltimore” – a non profit organization whose Mission is to facilitate the construction of a pubic, concrete, destination skatepark in the City of Baltimore. I am writing you on behalf of the 6,400 youth between the ages of 5 and 18 who compose Baltimore’s skateboarding community. I am writing you as an advocate for Baltimore’s skateboarders who feels strongly about community issues, and the welfare and safety of those who skateboard.
This issues lies much deeper then with the police officer and the youth skateboarders in question, this issue speaks to a basic underlying needs of Baltimore’s youth and adult skateboarding community. The popularity of Skateboarding is growing, the number of people 6 years of age or older that skateboard increased by nearly 55% from 1998 to 2003 on a national basis.* In 2007 6,400 youth between the ages of 5 and 18 composed Baltimore’s skateboarding community.* We owe it to our youth to provide them with appropriate facilities to recreate. The entire skateboarding community of Baltimore is currently being underserved with the facilities we have in place and if your City dosen’t have a skatepark your City is a skatepark. The square footage of terrain needed to recreate for an audience of this size (6,400) is at least 64,000 square feet of total terrain. (SAM) Presently Baltimore only has one public concrete outdoor skatepark, Carroll Park, which is less then 10,000 square feet. This skatepark is the only recreational outlet available to the youth of Baltimore and past experience and frequent testimony of the parks social impact indicate that the park keeps kids off the street, in school and from engaging in illegal activities.
I am saddened by what I have read and seen of the “Inner Harbor Internet Incident.” Though all of the details remain to be seen, it is my belief that no youth illegally recreating in any manner, in any area, should ever be managed in the way I have seen in the video footage. I have faith that the City, Police Department and the legal system will determine the best possible action, both for the responsible resolution of the incident previously mentioned and to address the needs of Baltimore’s skateboarding community.
I look forward to continuing the dialogue about this topic; I am always available for opinions, advice and expertise in the field of Skateboarding.
* US Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association
* Based on 2005 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau applied to the Skatepark Adoption Model (SAM)
Stephanie Murdock, MA
President, Skatepark of Baltimore