Special Police Officer Richard Recine had been employed at the Franklin, New Jersey police force for 36 years, but it was what he said when he was caught on camera that shot his career in the foot; he resigned on Thursday after the video went viral.
In a dispute with resident Steve Wronko concerning the right to shoot film and take pictures in a public place, Recine, a part time police officer who retired from full time work in 2006, disagreed, stating:
“Obama has decimated the friggin’ Constitution. So I don’t give a damn, so if he doesn’t follow the constitution, we don’t have to.”
On Monday, Wronko, who was filing public record requests, took the video at the borough’s municipal building. Wronko and his wife are seeking to reform the borough’s animal shelter; the couple was given a sick and underage puppy by the shelter, resulting in thousands of dollars in veterinarian bills.
Recine was dispatched to the scene after municipal workers were concerned about Wronko shooting film indoors. Wronko and his wife were asked by police to stop taking videos and pictures outside of the animal shelter twice before this week's incident.
"I tried to explain to him that since 9/11 you just can't walk into a place and take videos," Recine, 59, said Thursday in an interview with MyCentralJersey.com. "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."
The video’s viral journey started off on Wednesday, where it was first shown on MyCentralJersey.com. On Thursday morning, the story was picked up by the Drudge Report and became the top story on Reddit. Numerous readers expressed disgust with Recine’s comments, stating that they were dismissive of civil rights, and that as a public servant, he should know better about the law he enforces.
Recine, a registered Democrat, stated his concern about the impression that he gave off and how it speaks for police as a whole:
"I don't want to give a black eye to law enforcement. People are saying some really nasty stuff about cops. I don't want all officers painted with the same brush."
In concerns of whether he really meant it or not, Recine explained he was just really riled up and was being “sarcastic.”
"It was just a stupid statement on my part. He got me riled and I said it."
"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."
Image via YouTube