A startling video is going viral showing counter-protesters joking around about the death of George Floyd, as Black Lives Matter protesters passed by them on Monday.
An unknown man was seen kneeling on another man laying down along Delsea Drive as the group marched in Franklin Township, NJ. Another man with the group filmed the mock reenactment. One of the men has been identified as James J. Demarco according to a video posted on Instagram. Demarco a FedEx employee, has since been suspended, a company spokesman told The Courier Post.
NBC Philadelphia confirmed that at least one of the men involved was identified as a prison official of a local prison.
The NJ Department of Corrections told NBC in a statement that one of the men seen in the video was a corrections officer at Bayside State Prison.
“We have been made aware that one of our officers from Bayside State Prison participated in the filming of a hateful and disappointing video that mocked the killing of George Floyd,” an NJ Department of Corrections statement said.
NBC further reports that the prison guard has been suspended and an investigation has been started by NJ Department of Corrections.
A joint statement from Mayor John Bruno and Police Chief Brian Zimmer said they were both “appalled and saddened by the revolting actions of certain individuals.”
“Without an understanding and mutual respect for all individuals, we can never aspire to create a united community based upon the idea of human respect and dignity for all,” the statement said.
Gov. Phil Murphy condemned the stunt Tuesday night on Twitter, saying the state won’t “let the actions of a few distract from our progress toward dismantling systemic racism.”
“Mocking George Floyd’s murder in an effort to belittle the calls for justice from our Black and Brown communities is repugnant,” Murphy tweeted.
In the video, protesters march along a street in Franklin Township, Gloucester County, chanting “George Floyd!” and “Black Lives Matter!” escorted by local police behind them. They then pass a private property filled with firewood for sale on the side of the road. Video filmed by someone marching shows a man kneeling on the neck of another man. The man then starts shouting undecipherable words back at the protesters, while imitating the fatal blow that killed George Floyd, pressing his knee into an unknown man’s neck.
Two more men are standing nearby the other two reenacting the murder of Floyd while one of them is filming on a cellphone. The group is standing on the roadside in front of a pickup truck brandished with an American flag and Trump 2020 flag. There is also an “All Lives Matter” sign that is displayed next to the group.
A second truck shows the “thin blue line” flag, which is meant to show support for police officers.
George Floyd was murdered when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck and other officers assisted holding Floyd down or just watched. Floyd was killed by asphyxiation on May 25th after being arrested for allegedly trying to use a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes. While in police custody, former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes — while Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.
The other officers, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao – who were also involved in the death of George Floyd – have been charged with aiding and abetting, amongst other charges.
Protests have erupted across the country for almost two weeks as protesters have voiced their concern for African American lives and the overall issue of police brutality.
This follows a defacing of a George Floyd mural in Stoneham, Boston, as WBZ-TV Boston reported.. You can watch the video below on Instagram of the men mocking the murder of George Floyd, which only shows racism is alive and well in 2020.
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Right here in South Jersey! Don’t be naive! Some Posted @withregram • @stfuml This is what James J Demarco did while my brother @russy06 was peacefully protesting in Franklinville NJ. James works for @fedex so now I want to know does this employees behavior align with your company policy? #BLM #blacklivesmatter #blackouttuesday #icantbreathe #georgefloyd #justiceforgeorgefloyd #naacp #civilrights #breonnataylor #saytheirnames #racism #racist #repost