A police officer in Helmetta, New Jersey, is reportedly under investigation after he was caught on video telling a man that because President Barack Obama has “decimated” the Constitution, he no longer has to comply with the founding document.
The incident began as resident Steve Wronko brought a camera inside a municipal building while “investigating” alleged problems with the Helmetta Animal Shelter. A police officer, identified as Richard Recine, eventually stopped Wronko and demanded to know who he was and what he was doing filming in the building.
The cop’s shocking comments came as Wronko repeatedly cited his First Amendment rights, saying the amendment permits him to video record in a public building without being suspected of committing a crime. He brought up various case case law while trying to convince the officer on the issue.
“Obama has decimated the friggin’ Constitution, so I don’t give a damn,” Officer Recine said. “Because if he doesn’t have to follow the Constitution, we don’t have to.”
“Did you get that?!” the stunned man asked the young teen reportedly recording the conversation.
“That’s the law of the land, you have to follow it,” Wronko told the cop.
“Then you tell [Obama] that,” Recine replies.
Later in the video, Police Director Robert Manney shows up and tells Wronko that he will have to leave if he’s being disruptive. He also heard telling Wronko that he is required to tell police what he is doing inside a public building.
Wronko was escorted out of the building a short time later.
“Either get out, or you’re going to get locked up,” Manney is heard saying.
However, upon learning about one of his officer’s comments about the Constitution, Manney said on Wednesday that the comments were “uncalled for and unprofessional.” He also said an investigation should be concluded quickly because “the evidence is right there.”
“I’ve already spoken to that officer in regards to that. In my opinion, it’s an embarrassment,” Manney said, according to the Home News Tribune.