The news from Monday’s City Council meeting was supposed to be the amendments to the city’s carriage animal ordinance (given initial approval), but council members weren’t done talking about the video of a skateboarder getting pushed in to a bush. Seen that one? Of course you have.

The altercation, which occurred more than a year ago, involved a skate boarder and his brother illegally riding on (and likely damaging) the benches in Waterfront Park. The short video starts with Corey Dowds riding the bench and ends with Pfc. Willie Simmons pushing him in to the bushes before giving the cameraman a talking to. She did not ticket the kids, possibly realizing this could come back to haunt her. But after a recent crackdown on skaters downtown, the two brothers released the video that’s now been viewed by a national audience on CNN, ABC, and elsewhere.

An investigation following the video’s release led to a 10-day suspension without pay for Simmons, angering some City Council members who think she was just doing her job.

“There’s a difference between a push and a shove — streetwise,” said Councilman Wendell Gilliard. “She did not use extreme force.”

Councilman James Lewis said he has seen officers ignoring nearby skaters since Simmons suspension.

“This incident is going to make officers scared to say something,” he said.

Mayor Joe Riley, who has spoken fondly of Simmons throughout the video drama, said he felt “compelled” to respond to Lewis, Gallant, and others who questioned the penalty.

“She made a mistake,” he said. “There is no circumstance when the city will condone an officer using extreme force.”

A suspension was appropriate because of the severity of the offence, Riley said.

“Push, nudge, shove, or whatever — they can’t do it,” he said. —Greg Hambrick