JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP) - A Jacksonville police officer quit after admitting he told colleagues that he would volunteer to assassinate President Barack Obama.
Sam Koivisto told the Florida Times-Union on Wednesday that his comments had been blown out of proportion and that he had planned to retire in five months anyway.
The 57-year-old retired earlier this month while facing an internal investigation into his comments to other officers after the election. He told them that if an order came to kill Obama, he "wouldn't mind being the guy."
When questioned by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office integrity unit, he said he also didn't care if a nuclear explosion killed everyone in the Northeastern U.S because they supported Obama. He told the investigators his comments were hyperbole and not actual threats.
"I have not done anything criminal," he said during questioning. "It's political hyperbole."
"The statement that we got was that we got is that you made a threat to kill the President," the investigator said to Koivisto.
Koivisto responded, "No, the only statement ever made about the President was I said, you know, just like when they killed Osama Bin Laden, I said 'If someone says, "hey, he is the enemy of the State" or whatever and they had to take them out, then I could be the guy to do it.' That's not me saying I would kill the guy or anything of that nature. That's just to say if the guy went away, it wouldn't hurt my feelings."
Sheriff John Rutherford believes Koivisto's comments were unacceptable workplace conduct, but not legitimate threats. JSO notified the United States Secret Service.
Our news partners WTLV First Coast News contacted the Secret Service, and an agent said they have no specific comment, but they investigate all threats against the President.