Florida Cop Suspended Over Ominous ‘Obama Prayer’

January 6, 2011 3:37 a.m.

A Manatee County sergeant was suspended without pay after he highlighted an ominous verse in the Bible and dubbed it the “Obama Prayer.”

According to the police report, Matthew Neu circled “Let his days be few, and let another take his office” — from Psalm 109 — and placed the “Obama Prayer” note in a bible on a colleague’s desk. The “Obama Prayer” has been circulating around the Internet, and Neu received it in an email.Neu said he doesn’t know why he circled the verse, according to the report. He was reportedly trying to be funny.

“In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t the smart thing to do, you know,” he said. “I should have been more careful where I left it, or whatever.”

Dave Bristow, of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office’s Public Information Unit, told TPM Neu was suspended for what he did at work, adding that he feels the incident is being misreported by other media.

“It’s not the sort of thing that we allow (people) to do at work,” Bristow said, declining to comment further.

Neu was originally going to show the verse to others in the office, but he said he got too busy and forgot.

“Until today, I completely forgot about it other than I know what the prayer was,” Neu said in an interview contained in the police report. “It was not intended for anybody. It was not meant to be anybody. It’s not a threat on the president.”

According to the report, Neu had said around the 2008 presidential election he hoped Obama wouldn’t be elected.

Neu was suspended for 26 hours over the “Obama Prayer.”

Read the police report:

Sgt. Matthew Neu Police Report

The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: