A New Jersey corrections officer has been suspended and a FedEx employee was fired Tuesday after video showed them mocking the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.
Footage first surfaced on Monday of the two reenacting Floyd's death as a crowd of protesters marched in a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Franklin Township, N.J. The video, which quickly went viral on Twitter, showed a white man shouting at protesters as he kneeled on the back of another man's neck.
"This is what happens," the man shouted as other men stood in front of trucks adorned with banners supporting President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE and a sign saying, "All Lives Matter."
"Comply with the cops," the man said.
Trump supporters are disgusting. These Franklinville, NJ Trump supporters mockingly re-enacted the George Floyd murder. This needs to go viral! Who is this man? pic.twitter.com/xOOV2F7yNs— Black Lives Matter (@HKrassenstein) June 8, 2020
Floyd, 46, died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd said, "I can't breathe." The officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with second-degree murder.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections said Tuesday afternoon that it was made aware one of its officers participated in a "hateful and disappointing" video that mocked Floyd. The department said that the individual has been suspended and banned from department facilities pending an investigation into his behavior. The department did not name the person involved.
"We thank the community for bringing this issue to our attention," the department said.
FedEx later said in a tweet late Tuesday that an employee involved in the mocking of Floyd was fired.
"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 the video," the company said. "We stand with those who support justice and equality."
Floyd's death in police custody spurred protests across the nation, as well as calls from activists and lawmakers to address systemic racism in law enforcement. Daryan Fennal, who organized the protest in Franklin Township, told a local NBC affiliate that the mocking of Floyd's death demonstrated that "racism is real, racism is alive, it's right next door to you.”
Franklin Township Mayor John Bruno and Police Chief Brian Zimmer said in a joint statement that they were “appalled and saddened by the revolting actions of certain individuals.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) also condemned the behavior on Tuesday, saying in a statement that "mocking Floyd’s murder in 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," he added.