Police Officer Who Ripped Obama on Video Resigns

Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 08:16 PM

By Andrea Billups

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A New Jersey police officer who went on a rant about President Barack Obama abusing the Constitution to a man filming inside a public building — and arguing about his right to be there and not identify himself — has resigned.

The anti-Obama comments were captured on videotape as a frustrated Richard Recine, a Democrat and part-time officer in the town of Helmetta, attempts to argue with a citizen and invokes his own opinion about what he views as the president's abuse of the Constitution, Mediaite reported.

"Obama has decimated the friggin’ Constitution, so I don't give a damn, 'cause if he doesn't follow the Constitution, we don't have to," Recine, 59, snapped to Steve Wronko, a local resident, who argued about his right to be inside the borough's municipal building filming, the Associated Press reports.

Recine was called to the building after employees became concerned about a strange visitor filming. In the video, he argued with Wronko that threats of terrorism made it essential for people to identify themselves and for officers to inquire about their actions — even in a public space. Wronko told him it was his right as as citizen to be there, and later a back-up police supervisor arrived to escort Wronko out of the building.

Recine retired as a police officer in Franklin, N.J. after 36 years and was employed part-time as a special officer in Helmetta. His resignation was accepted Thursday by the town's police director, Robert Manney, according to Borough Administrator Herbert Massa, in an interview with the Courier News of Bridgewater, N.J., which first posted the video.

Recine told the paper that he resigned because he did not want to bring dishonor to police.

"I don't want to give a black eye to law enforcement," Recine said Thursday. "People are saying some really nasty stuff about cops. I don't want all officers painted with the same brush."

Manney, the police chief, called Recine an "embarrassment," the paper noted. Recine, who is an elected official on the Board of Fire Commissioners of District 2 in Piscataway, said he was being "sarcastic.

"It was just a stupid statement on my part. He got me riled and I said it," Recine said of his remarks. "I don't believe that at all. I'm the most patriotic person in the world. I believe in God, the flag, country, the Constitution."

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