With people protesting the brutal death of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police, counter-protestors have shown up. However, a recent counter-protestor has people talking about the incredibly racist reaction to the protests against police brutality and racial injustice. According to NBC Philadelphia’s News 10 station:
A group of white men seen mocking George Floyd’s death as Black Lives Matter protesters passed by included a corrections officer in South Jersey, officials confirmed to NBC10.
A man – whose identity has not been verified – was seen kneeling on another man laying down along Delsea Drive as a group marched past in Franklin Township on Monday. Another man with the group filmed the others.
The NJ Department of Corrections said in a statement that one of the men involved was a corrections officer at Bayside State Prison.
According to The Washington Post, the counter-protest was some sort of pro-police statement:
The men were part of a group of white counterprotesters with flags supporting President Trump and “Blue Lives Matter” that barked, “Black lives matter to no one,” and “Police lives matter,” at those marching on Monday to remember Floyd, the unarmed black man whose death after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes has sparked widespread protests.
“This is what happens when you don’t comply with the cops!” yelled the man who was kneeling on the other man’s neck, according to a video shared to social media. “Comply with the cops and this wouldn’t have happened! He didn’t comply!” (Floyd did indeed comply with police, according to the criminal complaint
The incident did not go unnoticed and according to The Philadelphia Inquirer:
A New Jersey corrections officer has been suspended after video was posted online of two men — one kneeling on the other’s neck, apparently mocking the death of George Floyd — at a Black Lives Matter protest march on Monday in Gloucester County.
The other man involved in the incident was an employee of FedEx, the company confirmed. On Tuesday night, FedEx said in a statement that he no longer worked there because of the video. Earlier in the day, the company said the employee, who was not identified, had been removed from all work duties and the incident was under internal investigation.
As someone who did time in Con College, it’s no surprise that some correctional officers are racist and think they can be flagrant about it. While people may turn a blind eye in prison, the outside world is thankfully becoming a different matter.