Counter Protesters at Floyd March Fired, Suspended From Jobs

June 10, 2020 Updated: June 10, 2020

A FedEx employee has been fired and a New Jersey corrections officer suspended for their role in Monday’s counterprotest to a Black Lives Matter march in New Jersey, which apparently tried to make the point, through a highly controversial reenactment, that George Floyd would still be alive “if he would have complied” with police instructions.

“He ain’t complying. He ain’t complying,” an unidentified counterprotester yelled at a passing column of Black Lives Matter protesters in Franklinville, as he had his knee on the back of another counterprotester who was laying on the ground, video shared on social media showed.

“He’s dead because he didn’t comply,” the man yelled. “If he would’ve complied, it wouldn’t have happened. He should have complied!”

Another man could be heard shouting in another, longer video of the same scene shot from a different angle and posted on Twitter: “All lives matter. Police lives matter. God bless the police!”

One of the men was also heard yelling: “Black Lives Matter to no one,” and “You dumb [expletive] protesters.”

Following the incident, FedEx announced one of its employees who was involved in the counterprotest was fired. In a statement to Newsweek on Tuesday, the company said it would “not tolerate the kind of appalling and offensive behavior depicted in this video.”

Without identifying the employee by name, FedEx stated: “The employee in question was immediately removed from all FedEx work duties while our investigation is concluded and all internal procedures are followed. A diverse and inclusive workforce is at the heart of our business, and we stand with those who support justice and equality.”

Another individual involved in the counterprotest was a New Jersey corrections officer, who has been suspended. The New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) posted a message on its Facebook page Tuesday, saying one its officers “participated in the filming of a hateful and disappointing video that mocked the killing of George Floyd.”

Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer—since fired and charged with murder—restrained him with a knee to the neck and head area for nearly 9 minutes.

His official cause of death, according to the full 20-page report made public on Wednesday by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, was cardiopulmonary arrest while Floyd was being restrained by police.

The autopsy also cited “complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” The manner of death was listed as homicide.

Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed man who was pleading that he could not breathe, in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 25, 2020. (Darnella Frazier via AP)

The NJDOC statement said the “individual has been suspended from their post and banned from NJDOC facilities pending a thorough and expedited investigation.”

Without identifying the officer by name, NJDOC spokeswoman Liz Velez told USA TODAY on Tuesday that the individual in question is a “senior corrections police officer” who was hired in March 2002.

William Sullivan, Executive Vice President of NJ PBA Local 105, the union representing state corrections officers, posted the following message on the union’s Twitter feed:

“Under absolutely no circumstance do we condone nor will we ever tolerate actions and 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,” Sullivan wrote.

“We need to continue practicing tolerance and understanding; not discrimination and hate,” he wrote, adding, “we pray for those who are hurting and we are here to help each and every one of them heal.”

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