June 10, 2020
Two men have been penalized by their employers for mocking the death of George Floyd during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Gloucester County.
A video shows the men mimicking Floyd's death as protesters marched along Route 47 in Franklin Township. One of the men can be seen lying on the ground while the other kneels on his neck and yells at demonstrators.
Banners supporting President Donald Trump and a flag representing Blue Lives Matter can be seen hung along pickup trucks in the background.
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
One of the men involved in the incident was a FedEx employee who was fired from his job Tuesday. The other has been identified as Joseph DiMarco, who was suspended from his job as a corrections officer at Bayside State Prison in Cumberland County, according to the Courier Post.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections is conducting an investigation into the matter, which it called "hateful and disappointing."
The union that represents 6,000 state correctional officers, NJ PBA Local 105, also rebuked the actions of the correctional officer depicted in the video.
"Under absolutely no circumstance do we condone nor will we ever tolerate expressions of discrimination, harassment, and hatred based on race, faith, skin color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability," the union said in a statement posted to social media.
"We need to continue practicing tolerance and understanding; not discrimination and hate."
PBA Local #105 is comprised of approximately 6,000 correctional police officers representing men and women that come...Posted by NJ PBA Local 105 on Tuesday, June 9, 2020
DiMarco was hired in 2002 and previously worked at the Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility in Burlington County until 2019, a spokesperson for the NJDOC told the Courier Post.
Gov. Phil Murphy decried DiMarco's actions as "reprehensible" and "unacceptable" during his daily briefing Wednesday.
The Franklin Township Police Department also is conducting an investigation into the matter. It released a joint statement with the Franklin Township Committee saying they “are appalled and saddened by the revolting actions of certain individuals after Monday’s locally organized peaceful march.”
“This is not who we are as a Community,” the statement said. “We support the goal of this march, which is to spread awareness and to ensure a better future for all of us. Without an understanding and mutual respect for all individuals, we can never aspire to create a united community based upon the idea of human respect and dignity for all.”
SPECIAL STATEMENT FROM THE TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE AND POLICE DEPARTMENT The Franklin Township Committee and the Franklin...Posted by Franklin Township Gloucester Co. on Tuesday, June 9, 2020
The identity of the FedEx employee is not known. The company acknowledged it had fired one of the men and released a statement saying it “does not tolerate the kind of appalling and offensive behavior depicted in this video."
“FedEx holds its team members to a high standard of personal conduct," the statement said. "A diverse and inclusive workforce is at the heart of our business, and we stand with those who support justice and equality."
Floyd, a black man, was killed on May 25 while in the custody of Minneapolis police, sparking nationwide demonstrations calling attention to police brutality and systemic racism.
Former Officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, has been charged with second-degree murder. Three former officers who watched have been charged with aiding and abetting murder.