A man who burned pages from a Koran on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 was fired from his job, officials said Tuesday.
Derek Fenton burned pages from the holy book during a protest outside the planned location of the Park51 Islamic center.
Fenton had been employed for eleven years by NJ Transit.
NJ Transit said Fenton was fired but wouldn’t give specifics.
“Mr. Fenton’s public actions violated New Jersey Transit’s code of ethics,” an agency statement said.
“NJ Transit concluded that Mr. Fenton violated his trust as a state employee and therefore [he] was dismissed.”
Police removed Fenton from protests and questioned him Saturday but he was not charged with a crime.
A police source told New York Daily News, “He said, ‘This is America,’ and he wanted to stand up for it, in a Tea Party kind of way.”
Chris Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union said that if Fenton was fired for his actions then his First Amendment rights may have been violated.
“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,” he said.
This video is from CBS New York, broadcast Sept. 15, 2010.