Friday, 08 August 2014

“We Don't Have to Follow Constitution" Cop Resigns

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The part-time Helmetta, New Jersey, policeman who said he didn't have to follow the Constitution if Obama doesn't obey it — as revealed in a viral Internet video — has resigned, according to a report in a New Jersey newspaper. 

The various versions of the viral YouTube video, “What in the HELLMETTA is going on?" have received several hundred thousand views as of August 8. The video features a calm, but verbally combative, Steve Wronko videotaping at a police station, and an obviously frustrated policeman Richard Recine telling Wronko:

I don't even care about that because Obama has decimated the friggin' Constitution. So I don't give a damn. Because if he doesn't follow the Constitution, we don't have to.

A shocked Wronko reacted to Recine's statement with the following: 

Wronko: That's the law of the land. You have to follow it, whether [Obama] does or not.

Recine: And you tell him that.

Wronko (not Recine) was escorted out of the police station under threat of arrest by Police Director Robert Manney after he refused to explain why he was videotaping in the police station. “I tried to explain to him that since 9/11 you just can't walk into a place and take videos," Recine told August 7. “All he kept on doing was saying he had civil rights, and the Constitution, and he didn't have to give me information. And I kind of like lost my temper.” According to an explanation under the viral YouTube video, “Steve Wronko went to investigate problems with the Helmetta Animal Shelter.” 

Recine said he offered his resignation because "I don't want to give a black eye to law enforcement." He is a retired career police officer from a nearby New Jersey town, who worked part-time for the Helmetta Police Department. “It was just a stupid statement on my part. He got me riled and I said it.” he told “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.”

Pointedly, Recine did not take back the remarks about President Obama “decimating the Constitution.” Indeed, why should he take back a true statement?

Perhaps more importantly, one must wonder: Why is it that the person (Recine) who simply says he doesn't have to honor the Constitution's First Amendment rights — but didn't actually violate anyone's rights — was fired, but Police Director Robert Manney — who did violate the First Amendment rights of a peaceful citizen — kept his job?

Image: screenshot of Wronko's interview with Recine

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