Swift Consequences for Men Who Staged George Floyd Scene

They did so as peaceful protesters walked by in NJ
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2020 1:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – People participating in a Black Lives Matters march in New Jersey on Monday came upon a counterprotest that's being called "appalling and offensive"—and ended with one man losing his job and another being suspended. The incident took place in Gloucester County's Franklin Township, where two men among a group of white counterprotesters on private property reenacted the scene that killed George Floyd. More:

  • Video shot by protesters showed one man on the ground and another kneeling on his neck and shouting, "This is what happens when you don't comply with the cops! Comply with the cops and this wouldn't have happened! He didn't comply!" The Washington Post notes the criminal complaint filed against the officers involved in and at the scene of Floyd's death states the 46-year-old did comply. The fallout came swiftly for the two men, who were confirmed to be a FedEx employee and a New Jersey corrections officer.
  • The Cherry Hill Courier-Post reports the longtime senior corrections police officer—who has worked with the New Jersey Department of Corrections since 2002—was suspended "pending a thorough and expedited investigation, per an NJDOC post on Facebook. The post called the video "hateful and disappointing." NJ.com cites state employment records in identifying the man as Joseph DeMarco.

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  • The second man was a FedEx employee who has been fired, with the company saying it will "not tolerate the kind of appalling and offensive behavior depicted in this video."
  • NBC News reports New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also weighed in, tweeting this Tuesday: "Mocking George Floyd's murder in [an] effort to belittle the calls for justice from our Black and Brown communities is repugnant. ... We won't let the actions of a few distract from our progress toward dismantling systemic racism."
  • WPVI speaks with Russell Sampson, who was marching in the peaceful protest—which the New York Times reports drew about 70 people—and took video of the two men. "That was a real person, yes, who was willing to get down and show such hate," he says. Protest organizer Daryan Fennal tells the Times the counterprotesters also yelled "Go cash your checks" and "Black Lives Matter to no one." Another protest will be held in Franklin Township on Saturday.
(Read more George Floyd stories.)

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