Franklin Township, New Jersey — A corrections officer who participated in a counter-protest in whichwas re-enacted was suspended Tuesday after videos of the counter-demonstration were widely shared on social media. A FedEx employee who also took part was fired.
Their roles in the counter-protest weren't immediately clear.
Videos show protesters marching along a street in Franklin Township Monday chanting "George Floyd!" and "Black Lives Matter!" They're being escorted by local police.
They pass a roadside private property filled with firewood for sale. Video filmed by one of the marchers shows a man kneeling on the neck of another man shouting back at the protesters. They shout back.
Two more men are standing right there. One is filming on a cellphone. The group is in front of a pickup truck outfitted with an American flag and Trump banner. Several other people are nearby. An "All Lives Matter" sign is also hanging. Another truck shows the "thin blue line" flag, meant to show support for law enforcement workers.
The videos have garnered tens of thousands of views and shares on social media.
Floyd, a black man, was pinned to the pavement May 25 by a white Minneapolis police officer who put his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes, even after Floyd stopped responding. Protests have been held in cities and towns around the world calling for an end to police brutality and systemic racism.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections put out a statement saying it was made aware that one of its 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 pending a thorough and expedited investigation," the statement said.
Another person in the video was a FedEx employee who has since been fired, the company said.
"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," FedEx said.
A statement from Police Chief Brian Zimmer and Mayor John Bruno said they were "appalled and saddened by the revolting actions of certain individuals."
Governor Phil Murphy condemned the stunt Tuesday night on Twitter, saying the state won't "let the actions of a few distract from our progress toward dismantling systemic racism."
"Mocking George Floyd's murder in effort to belittle the calls for justice from our Black and Brown communities is repugnant," Murphy tweeted.