FRANKLINVILLE, N.J. (CBS) — A FedEx employee caught on video mocking George Floyd’s death during a Black Lives Matter protest has been fired. A New Jersey Corrections Officer was also suspended following the incident.
The cellphone video was taken during a Black Lives Matter rally held Monday in Franklinville, Gloucester County.
One of the men was seen kneeling on another man who was lying down along Delsea Drive, in a pose similar to the one former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin used on Floyd.
FedEx called the video “appalling and offensive.”
“The behavior depicted in the video, which involved a FedEx employee, is appalling and offensive,” FedEx said in a statement. “The employee in question was immediately removed from all FedEx work duties while our investigation is concluded and all internal procedures are followed. FedEx holds its team members to a high standard of personal conduct, and 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.”
In a tweet, the New Jersey Department of Corrections said, “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 individual has been suspended from their post and banned from NJDOC facilities during a thorough and expedited investigation.”
Mocking George Floyd’s murder in effort to belittle the calls for justice from our Black and Brown communities is repugnant. I condemn this behavior in the strongest terms possible.
We won’t let the actions of a few distract from our progress toward dismantling systemic racism. https://t.co/Rb1RUsST5I
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 10, 2020
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also condemned the officer for his actions, tweeting “we won’t let the actions of a few distract from our progress toward dismantling systematic racism.”
The act has since gone viral on social media and members from the community are in an uproar.
“It’s a terrible situation for someone to do such a terrible thing,” Franklinville resident Sophia Dagostino said.
“I was furious, I was disgusted, I’m horrified. I personally came out here to drown out their message,” resident Sarah Hill said.
Since the incident, the Black Lives Matter acronym and other messages have been painted in front of the property, and protesters continue to show up in small numbers.
“It’s sad to see that we’re dealing with this sort of stuff today,” Dagostino said.
At least one friend of the corrections officer, who he refers to as Jimmy, says their anti-protest was against the Black Lives Matter movement and in support of law enforcement.
He didn’t want to appear on camera but says he had no idea what was in store. But by the time it happened, it was too late. He says he’s since cut all ties with his former friend.
CBS3 showed up to the officer’s house Wednesday while he was mowing the lawn, but he quickly disappeared and did not speak.
Another protest is planned for next Saturday at 11 a.m. Police say it was one the docket before the incident but they are now anticipating an even larger crowd.
CBS3’s Alecia Reid contributed to this report.