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NJ Corrections Officer Suspended After Mocking George Floyd's Death During BLM March

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NJ Corrections Officer Suspended After Mocking George Floyd's Death During BLM March

2020-06-11 10:30:42

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Reenactment of George Floyd's death at Black Lives Matter march (Image source: Twitter

As the Black Lives Matter movement tries to make its case repeatedly after the death of George Floyd, the message is continually overshadowed by the negativity that surrounds it, whether it's vandalism, Donald Trump, or counter-protesters. On Tuesday it was the counter-protesters who reenacted Floyd's death, indicating it was his own fault. It ended in one man being fired and another one suspended. 

 It was yet another Black Lives Matter march that was moving through Franklin Township, New Jersey, protesting the manner of Floyd's death at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. They marched past the group of counter-protesters, with one white man kneeling on the neck of another white man.

The counter-protesters carried flags that were supporting Donald Trump and "Blue Lives Matter." They yelled out, "Black lives matter to no one" and "Police lives matter" while the marchers went past. 

"This is what happens when you don't comply with the cops!" yelled the man kneeling on the other man's neck. "Comply with the cops, and this wouldn't have happened! He didn't comply!" He continued.

A criminal complaint filed against the officers involved in his death have stated that Floyd did comply. 

"It's his fault he's dead, not the cop!" yelled the man kneeling.

After New Jersey state leaders and law enforcement denounced the encounter, the two men were identified as a FedEx employee and a corrections officer. 

The New Jersey Department of Corrections announced that a senior corrections officer at Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, New Jersey, had been suspended. He has also been banned from state facilities "pending a thorough and expedited investigation." He has not been identified.

"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," said the department in a statement that was posted to Facebook. 

Some who have watched the video that was posted to Twitter of the reenactment identified the man keeling as the man who was fired from FedEx. Actor-rapper Ice Cube is among a group who were requesting that the man be fired.

"We do not tolerate the kind of appalling and offensive behavior depicted in this video," tweeted FedEx, while not naming the employee. "The individual involved is no longer employed by FedEx. We stand with those who support justice and equality." 

Making the actions of these two men even worse, the day the video of the men's actions appeared on social media was the day of the public viewing of Floyd's body. The two white men were suspended and fired one day later, the same day as Floyd's funeral.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy condemned the actions of the two men as "repugnant." Franklin Township Mayor John Bruno and Police Chief Brian Zimmer released a joint statement that denounced the actions of "certain individuals," and added, "This is not who we are as a community." 

NJ PBA Local 105, the union that represents state corrections officers, released a statement that read, "We need to continue practicing tolerance and understanding, not discrimination and hate."

One of the counter-protesters shot a video that shows police escorting about 70 marchers down the Franklinville section of the township. According to, they had gathered on private property on the side of the road. 

As the protesters marched down the road, one of the two white men dropped to the ground facedown. The other man began to kneel on his neck, berating the protesters. A counter-protester is heard responding to their chants of "Black lives matter," with "to no one."

The organizer of the protest, 21-year-old Daryan Fennal, admitted to being overcome with emotion at the sight of the men reenacting Floyd's death. 

"It automatically brought me to tears," he told NBC10. "The display yesterday showed me that racism is real, racism is alive, it's right next door to you."

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