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Florida cop who jokingly threatened Obama retires early

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By The Christian Science Monitor
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, 7:28 p.m.
 

A Jacksonville, Fla., police officer who told colleagues that he would volunteer to assassinate President Obama quit last week.

While the Secret Service ultimately agreed that Detective Sam Koivisto was kidding when he suggested to fellow cops that if an order came to kill Obama, he “wouldn't mind being the guy,”the loose talk led the 26-year veteran to retire six months earlier than planned, saying that “it's best for everybody.”

The political polarization of the country, together with rising use of the Internet to make “general” threats against the president, has led to heightened anxiety in some quarters.

“With all the super-heated emotions” around the election, all “this kind of talk just fans the flames of these sorts of emotions — that's my concern,” a law enforcement official told Homeland Security Today.

In the final weeks of Election 2012, a whirlwind of anonymous online threats emerged against President Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney. But Koivisto's early retirement marks at least the third time in the past six months that the Secret Service looked into police officers making threats against the president.

The threats did not meet the legal standard of a “true threat,” and no charges were filed. But in all three, the comments led to employment termination.

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