The mayor of a New Jersey town condemned a counterprotester who knelt on another man's neck to mock the death of George Floyd.
Multiple New Jersey officials are condemning an ugly display of racism that occurred in the state on Monday, after a group of Donald Trump supporters was captured on video mocking the death of George Floyd and the protests sparked by his killing.
The video, which was posted to Instagram Monday, shows a group of four men standing in front of a pickup truck adorned with a Trump flag taunting demonstrators who were protesting police brutality and racism in the wake of Floyd's death.
The video shows one of the men kneeling on the neck of another man as protesters chanted "Black lives matter" from the street. Floyd was killed after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes while he was handcuffed and repeatedly said he couldn't breathe.
"This is what happens when you don't comply with the cops!" the man yelled, according to a video posted to Twitter. "Comply with the cops and this wouldn't have happened! He didn’t comply!"
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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 men have yet to be publicly identified. However, one of the men is a correctional officer in the state who has now been suspended.
"We have been made aware that one of our officers participated in the filming of a hateful and disappointing video that mocked the killing of George Floyd," the New Jersey Department of Corrections said in a statement, adding that the unidentified officer has been suspended "pending a thorough and expedited investigation."
FedEx also fired an employee it says was part of the racist counterprotest, though it did not name the man.
"We do not tolerate the kind of appalling and offensive behavior depicted in this video," FedEx tweeted. "The individual involved is no longer employed by FedEx. We stand with those who support justice and equality."
A joint statement from the town's mayor and police chief also denounced the counterprotest, saying they were "appalled and saddened by the revolting actions of certain individuals after Monday’s locally organized peaceful march."
"This is not who we are as a Community," Franklin Township Mayor John Bruno and Police Chief Brian Zimmer said in a statement posted to Facebook. "We support the goal of this march, which is to spread awareness and to ensure a better future for all of us."
Some reports have indicated that even Senate Republicans are feeling pressured to consider passing police reform legislation. However, it's unclear what the would pass. Trump has not listed any police reforms he supports.
"The President is looking at what's a state issue, what's a federal issue right now," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a press briefing on Monday. "He's currently reviewing proposals, actually, on this very topic about police reform. So I'll leave it to him and not get ahead of him on that."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.