Philadelphia court supervisor fired after being caught on video saying he doesn't care about black lives

A Philadelphia Family Court supervisor was fired Monday after he was recorded saying he doesn’t care about black lives as he took down "Black Lives Matter" protest signs in a park. 

The city’s First Judicial District fired Michael Henkel, 61, who had worked as a writ-server supervisor, after he was captured on video removing signs from a Columbus Square fence, a Family Court spokesman told The Hill.

A woman in the video yells to Henkel, saying “Black Lives Matter,” to which he responds “Not to me, they don’t.”


Marty O’Rourke, a Family Court spokesman, confirmed to The Hill in a statement that Henkel “is no longer an employee.” He added that “his termination was based on multiple violations” to the state court system’s Code of Conduct and the Non-Discrimination and Equal Employment Policy.

“The Court takes the incident very seriously and believes Mr. Henkel’s behavior as shown in the video is egregious and totally unacceptable for an employee of the Courts," O'Rourke said.

The 34-second video was originally shared on Facebook and shows Henkel removing signs off a fence and starts with a woman saying they were not his property.


“I know. It’s the city. I pay for this. … Yeah, my taxes pay for this place,” he said.

He added, “So I can do whatever I want. … I’m always around here, too.”

The woman who is not on camera says, “Great I live right here,” before adding “Black Lives Matter,” sparking Henkel’s “Not to me, they don’t.”

City payroll records obtained by The Philadelphia Inquirer showed Henkel was hired in 1992. 

The signs were reportedly put up as part of a Friday, kid-friendly Black Lives Matter march, Leslie Chapman, one of the sign’s creators, told the Inquirer.