FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J. — One man has been fired and another suspended after a video surfaced of a reenactment of George Floyd’s death that was held to counter a peaceful Black Lives Matter march in New Jersey.
During the march, protesters walked past a group of white men, one of which was kneeling on the neck of another white man.
One man yelled, “It’s his fault he’s dead, not the cop!”
The men were part of a group of counterprotesters with flags supporting President Donald Trump and “Blue Lives Matter,” The Washington Post reported. A video shot by one of the counterprotesters shows police escorting marchers past them.
The men can be heard shouting “Black lives matter to no one,” and “Police lives matter” during the march held Monday to remember Floyd, the 46-year-old unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. His death has sparked protests across the country and throughout the world.
“This is what happens when you don’t comply with the cops!” shouted the kneeling man, according to a video posted on social media. “Comply with the cops and this wouldn’t have happened! He didn’t comply!”
A criminal complaint shows that Floyd actually did comply with the police.
On Tuesday, one of the men in the video, a senior officer with New Jersey Department of Corrections, was suspended, while another man was fired from his FedEx job.
The department said in a statement posted to Facebook: “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 corrections officer, who has not been identified, has been banned from state facilities “pending a thorough and expedited investigation.”
FedEx tweeted: “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 fired FedEx employee was also not identified.
The firing and suspension came on the same day as Floyd’s funeral in Houston.
State leaders and law enforcement condemned the video.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called the reenactment “repugnant,” while Franklin Township Mayor John Bruno and Police Chief Brian Zimmer said in a joint statement that “this is not who we are as a community.”
Marchers said they were appalled by the scene, reported The Washington Post.
Lexi Fagotti, a Stockton University student who posted a video of the incident to Twitter, said: “This is unacceptable and disturbing.”
Russell Sampson, who also captured video, told WPVI: “That was a real person, yes, that was willing to get down and show such hate.”