On November 9th, officers with the Jacksonville Police Department notified detectives alleging one of their own had made threatening statements about the President and members of the Democratic Party. Fifty-seven-year-old detective Sam Koivisto, a 26 year veteran of the department, told
“If an order was given to kill Obama or something, then I wouldn't mind being the guy.”
An internal investigation was launched by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office integrity unit. During an interview with detectives, Koivisto said he was frustrated with the results of the November 6th Presidential election. He went on to say
since people in the northeastern parts of the U.S. supported Obama, he didn't care if a nuclear explosion killed everyone in the area.
During the taped interview
, Koivito denied making a threat against the President, saying:
"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."
Koivito went on to tell investigators that he had not done anything criminal and that his comments were simply "political hyperbole."
Sheriff John Rutherford issued a statement
saying he believed Koivito's comments were unacceptable workplace conduct, but not legitimate threats.
After being questions by investigators, Koivito submitted a letter
to the department stating he was retiring.
When questioned about the alleged threats, Koivito told News4Jax
"It was never made, never a threat, never any, you know, ever going to ever take any action on it or anything of that nature. It was just saying that, you know, I'm not real fond of the guy, and if he goes away it wouldn't hurt my feelings."
The U.S Secret Service was notified of the comments. The U.S. Attorney's Office has yet to decide if any criminal charges will be brought against Koivito.