Philadelphia Court Supervisor Fired After He's Seen Tearing Down 'Black Lives Matter' Signs: 'Not To Me, They Don't'
A Philadelphia Family Court spokesperson said Michael Henkel's behavior was "egregious and totally unacceptable."
June 16, 2020 at 5:08 pm
Philadelphia Family Court supervisor Michael Henkel was terminated on Monday after being seen confiscating signs reading "Black lives matter" and berating local residents passionate about the movement.
According to CNN, family court spokesman Martin O'Rourke confirmed Henkel's firing from his role as a writ-server supervisor due to “multiple violations” of the state court’s code of conduct.
The spokesperson explicitly mentioned the video, which first made its rounds on Facebook over the weekend, as the motive for the firing.
“The Court takes this incident very seriously and believes Mr. Henkel's behavior as shown in the video is egregious and totally unacceptable for an employee of the Courts,” O’Rourke said.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the incident occurred at Columbus Square, but details about what started the altercation remain sparse.
As the video begins, someone off-screen can be heard saying, “that’s not your property.”
“I know, it’s the city, I pay for this,” Henkel responded.
“Oh, you pay for that?” they asked.
"Yup, my taxes pay for this place,” Henkel said. “Yup, just so you know. So, I can do whatever I want.”
He then warned the person capturing the incident that he’s “always around here, too.”
As the resident started to retreat from the scene, a voice bellowed, “Black lives matter.”
“Not to me, they don’t,” Henkel answered back. “You can call it any way you want, you can go f**k yourselves though.”
According to The Inquirer, local resident Leslie Chapman, 42, took ownership of one of the signs Henkel razed on Monday. She said the signs were put up on the fence as part of a kid-friendly march organized by community leaders and the Philadelphia Student Union.
“For that adult to take that away from children, it’s just really awful,” Chapman said. “The kids probably had a lot of fun making those signs.”
She said her boyfriend noticed later that day that some of the signs had already been taped back onto the gate, per The Inquirer.
O’Rourke said that while Henkel managed subordinate employees in his former position, he “had no involvement with cases” during his time with the court.
Elsewhere around the country, other racist agitators are being outed and are losing their platforms and positions of power in droves.
According to CNN, Maryland police are looking for a cyclist who was recorded physically confronting people posting "Black lives matter" flyers on June 1. Police have enlisted the help of the public in finding the man being described as "a 50 to 60-year-old white male, medium build, 6 feet in height, with short brown hair."
Earlier this month, two white men from New Jersey who participated in a counter-protest and mocked the killing of George Floyd were held accountable for their actions, as Blavity previously reported. One man, who kneeled in jest on another racist demonstrator, was fired from his job at FedEx. A man recording the incident from a side angle was suspended and banned from his job at a correctional facility pending an investigation.