Cop: Obama Violates Constitution, So I Can Too

A New Jersey police officer is under investigation after video is posted that shows him violating the rights of someone doing nothing more than videotaping a public building and justifying it by saying that since Obama has “decimated” the Constitution, he can too.

Special Police Officer Richard Recine now is the subject of an internal affairs investigation after the video was posted online and was seen by Police Director Robert Manney, who called the comments an “embarrassment.”

In the video, taken Monday at the borough municipal building, resident Steve Wronko gets into a verbal confrontation with Recine, who was called to the building because Wronko was seen taking pictures inside.

After Wronko insists he has a constitutional right to record in a public place, Recine responds.

“Obama has decimated the friggin’ constitution, so I don’t give a damn,” says Recine, a retired Franklin cop. “Because if he doesn’t follow the Constitution we don’t have to.”

Wronko then turns to the person recording the camera to make sure that was recorded. Recine repeats himself.

“Our president has decimated the constitution, then we don’t have to.”

Update: The officer has now resigned. But this cracked me up:

“It was just a stupid statement on my part. He got me riled and I said it,” he explained. “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.”

None of which has fuckall to do with anything.

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  • Chiroptera

    “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.”

    In that order? ‘Cause coming from a public servant, that worries me.

  • dingojack

    The Fourth Amendment is now out of the Bill of Rights.

    Thanks Obama!



  • zenlike

    The amount of commenters on those two news articles that actually defend this cop is scary. Seems a lot of Americans don’t know what freedom of speech is, or what the constitution actually means, of what false equivalence means. Also, the lawful citizens being harassed was clearly at fault. Or something. He might even be a communist (yeah, I’m not making this up).

  • tsig

    Doesn’t freedom of speech mean that I am free to preach Christianity anywhere and anytime I want to an you have to put up with it?/apologist off

  • Phillip IV

    Recine may be out of a job right now, but I bet he made the Tea Party’s shortlist of SCOTUS nominees.

    Because really, that argument was so bad, it could have come straight from Scalia.

  • sh3baproject

    if obama is a kenyan marxist muslim, then he can be one too! not that he would want to be one.

  • Synfandel

    From the second article:

    “I tried to explain to him that since 9/11 you just can’t walk into a place and take videos,” Recine said Thursday.

    [Police Director] Manney said police were right to question Wronko and to ask him to leave the building…

    Is there any truth to these claims at all?

  • laurentweppe

    The amount of commenters on those two news articles that actually defend this cop is scary. Seems a lot of Americans don’t know what freedom of speech is, or what the constitution actually means, of what false equivalence means

    Allow me to provide an alternative hypothesis: a lot of Americans know perfectly well what freedom of speech is, or what the constitution actually means, of what false equivalence means, it’s just that they don’t give a shit so long as they’re confident that the kind of egregious abuse shown here won’t be done to them or their loved ones.

  • steve oberski

    On the bright side, at least this one provided a reasonexcuse, which is a bit of an improvement.

  • matty1

    Well on the bright side at least now we know what percentage of your constitution it is acceptable to ignore and it’s lower than I’d feared.

  • lorn

    This is proof of a real and present danger.

    Yes, Obama has played fast and loose with the law, and may have gone far enough to come under legal threat, if not any actual action or sanction. But that isn’t the major problem, or what I’m talking about.

    The danger is that right-wing talk radio, TV, and certain preachers have caused widespread retardation of normal thought processes in people who are exposed to them. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    A complete misunderstanding and misapprehension of what the US constitution says and means. The mistaken belief that alleged misbehavior by individuals within government invalidates the wider function and legitimacy of government. The delusion that listening to or reading Limbaugh, Beck, Barton, or Alex Jones qualifies as “research” or “education” in constitutional law.

    It is unclear if these symptoms are the result of actual brain damage, confused processing on information, loss of external reference points, or some combination of any or all of them. At the very least such programs need a black-box warning to allow people the chance to turn back before the damage is done.

  • I thought all kids got the lecture, “I know Kenny’s mom lets him do it, but that doesn’t mean you can do it, too”?

    In other words, even if the druggie down the street goes breaking and entering cars on the street to swipe iPads and whatnot, it doesn’t give you free license to do the same. Elementary school civics lessons seem to not have stuck with this guy.

  • moarscienceplz

    I’m the most patriotic person in the world.

    IMHO, that statement right there should disqualify someone from being a cop. Patriotism is truly the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  • He believes in flag?

  • jahigginbotham

    Another crime is his $79,000 per year pension from his 2006 retirement.

  • dingojack

    matty1 – 90% presumably*. [See mine, #2]

    Dr X – he’s a RWNJ so he only believes in false flags.




    * Decimate – reduce by one in every ten.

  • dingojack

    Oops – 10% to be ignored. [On second thoughts, maybe I was right in first place when it comes to the beliefs of these galoots].


  • dugglebogey

    To all these people who tell me that Obama has shredded the constitution but can’t come up with any specific examples (and this has happened to me multiple times) I have three words:

    Richard Milhous Nixon

  • lordshipmayhem

    “Special” – he rode the short school bus in his teens. And twenties.

  • Dugglebogey @ 18

    IMHO, Obama’s perpetuation of the NSA wholesale fishing expedition is an impeachable, and indictable, offense. Of course, the RWNJ’s won’t mention that because they’ll want to do it whenever they get the Oval Office back.

  • wscott

    @ Chiroptera #1: Yeah, the order he put those in is really instructive isn’t it? God first, followed by the Flag (ie – abstract idea of what country ought to be in his mind), then the country itself (excluding all those lefties who hate ‘Murica), and dead last the actual legal basis, which coincidentally is also the only thing on the list remotely relevant to the issue.

    @ Synfandel #7: There is a smallish grain of truth to it. (Standard IANAL disclaimer.) There is some sensitivity to people taking pictures of public buildings, particularly if they seem to be focusing on security measures and so forth. So yes you have a legal right to stand outside the nuclear power plant and take pictures of their gates, cameras, shift-change procedures, etc – but don’t be surprised when the police come over to chat you up. For most cops who aren’t brain-dead assholes* the “response” is usually just a short conversation to see if any other red flags pop up, and running your ID/license plate to see if you’ve been spotted doing something similar at other sites. As for asking you to leave, they can generally always ask you to leave a public building if you’re doing something “suspicious” or “disruptive.” (And yes, those terms are completely vague and subjective.) Whether or not they can compel you to leave, or arrest you if you refuse, likely varies with jurisdiction, departmental policy/culture, etc.

    * A larger percentage than you might think.

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