Prison Guard Suspended After Recording Cruel Reenactment Of George Floyd’s Death As BLM Protesters Marched By
A New Jersey corrections officer has been suspended, and a FedEx employee has been fired.
June 10, 2020 at 8:29 pm
Two white men who participated in a counterprotest and mimicked the killing of George Floyd during a Black Lives Matter march are now facing repercussions. One of the men is a now terminated FedEx employee. The other works as a prison guard.
During a Black Lives Matter march in Franklinville, New Jersey, a group of white people lined up on the side of the street to taunt peaceful protesters. The group displayed an “All lives matter” sign, Trump banners, American flags and monochrome American flags with a blue line, which represent police officers.
Two of the men reenacted the killing of Floyd, according to WPVI. One of the men got on the ground while the other rested his knee on his neck.
“This is what happens when you don’t comply with the cops,” the man who was on top said, according to HuffPost.
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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
The man kneeling was employed by FedEx at the time of the incident, NBC 10 Philadelphia reports. The shipping company identified the man as one of its employees after viewing video of the incident and initially suspended him pending an investigation.
"The behavior depicted in the video, which involved a FedEx employee, is appalling and offensive. The employee in question was immediately removed from all FedEx work duties while our investigation is concluded and all internal procedures are followed. A diverse and inclusive workforce is at the heart of our business, and we stand with those who support justice and equality," a company statement read.
FedEx subsequently released a second statement saying he was no longer employed by the company.
"FedEx holds its team members to a high standard of personal conduct, and we do not tolerate the kind of appalling and offensive behavior depicted in this video. The individual involved is no longer employed by FedEx. We stand with those who support justice and equality,” the statement read.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections officer was also identified as one of the counterprotesters. He wasn't involved in the reenactment but was on the side filming. He was suspended and banned from corrections facilities pending an investigation, NBC 10 Philadelphia reported.
"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. The individual has been suspended from their post and banned from NJDOC facilities pending a thorough and expedited investigation,” a spokesperson said.
Russell Sampson, a protester who filmed the incident, said the actions of the men were hateful.
"With this individual being a corrections officer, he's facilitating over other minorities and prisoners who are minorities. So, we can only imagine what type of injustice they may be facing every day that they cannot speak on. We need to be their voice," Sampson told WPVI.
“The display yesterday showed me that racism is real, racism is alive, it’s right next door to you,” said Daryan Fennal, who organized Monday’s protest.
She said that while the video has gone viral, she wants to also emphasize the positivity and pure intentions she had when organizing the march.
"What goes viral is all the negativity, like this video that came out and is being shared thousands of times. I want to share that ultimately the intentions were pure and we were all about unity," said Fennal.
Mayor John Bruno and Police Chief Brian Zimmer denounced the incident and said they were "appalled and saddened by the revolting actions of certain individuals,” in a joint statement.
"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 read.