It’s common these days to find videos of people filming confrontations with policemen. With a smartphone in everyone’s hands, it’s easier than ever to be able to capture incriminating evidence. Given how many controversies have come up in recent years regarding abusive police action caught on video, officers have to be careful with how they deal with citizens recording them.
This video captures resident Steve Wronko attempting to investigate the Helmetta Animal Shelter, when he’s approached by New Jersey police officer Richard Recine. Normally, the entire thing would have been another situation of a man trying to be smart with a police officer who’s trying to do his job (the internet just loves a guy who steps up to authority), and then act threatened when they pat his back towards the exit.
But then the officer, in the midst of arguing, dropped this:
“Obama has decimated the friggin’ constitution, so if he doesn’t follow the constitution, we don’t have to.”
Honestly, I can understand an officer confronting someone like this. If you’re arguing with a cop and he’s not yelling, taking your camera away, or threatening you with force, you’ve found someone with at least some respect for the law. But when an officer gets angry, or acts on his emotions, he immediately makes himself the enemy in front of that camera. When Officer Richard Recine put his political beliefs into the equation, he put down the professionalism he seemed to be practicing in the first place. It’s sad to see; for all we know, maybe the guy was just having a bad day. As serious as he sounded saying what he said, he wasn’t acting on it.
Eventually Police Director Robert Manney showed up, and had to deal with both the police officer who stepped out of line, and the guy who caught it on tape.
Director Manney didn’t kick out the man without letting him speak up for himself, and he did it ensuring that a scene doesn’t get made. When one officer stepped out of line, another had to come in place and be professional on the matter. It’s sad that he’ll be antagonized by the web regardless (seriously, just don’t read the youtube comments), but I appreciate his actions here.
Officer Richard Recine is currently under investigation.