Derek Fenton burned pages of the Koran outside the old Burlington Coat Factory location of the proposed Ground Zero mosque. Fenton was fired by the New Jersey Transit, where he has worked for the last eleven years. Please try to vote in the NYDaily News poll below. Conservatives are not winning.
He said, 'This is America,'and he wanted to stand up for it, in a Tea Party kind of way," a police source said.
Another police source said Fenton described himself as a "loyal American" exercising his "right to protest."
Several neighbors in Fenton's town stood up for his right to express himself with flames.
"Good for him for burning the Koran," neighbor Jacqui Marquez, 40, said.
"Everybody's entitled to their opinion ... by firing him, they're sending a message that there's no freedom of speech. They're completely wrong for doing this."
"He's a family man," neighbor Randy McConnell, 43, said.
"He loves his kids and he loves trains. I don't agree with what he did, but he shouldn't lose his job over it. That's his right."
If Fenton was fired for burning the Koran while off-duty, his First Amendment rights probably were violated, Chris Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union said.
"The Supreme Court has recognized a constitutional right to burn the flag. As reprehensible as it may be, burning the Koran would be protected as well."NYDailyNews poll - please visit and voice your outrage that a man can lose his job for expressing his First Amendment rights. Vote in Fanning the Flames. Tell the NJTransit you don't give a fig for Islam's tender sensibilities.
Posted by Maggie @ Maggie's Notebook