N.J. corrections officer among group that mocked George Floyd’s killing as protesters marched by

A video posted on social media shows a group of men, including a New Jersey state corrections officer, taunting and mocking protesters in Gloucester County Monday – with one kneeling on a man’s neck, reenacting the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The officer has been suspended, officials said Tuesday. Online commentators and state employment records identify him as Joseph DeMarco.

A second person who participated in the taunting was fired from their job at FedEx, the company said.

And late Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy condemned the incident, writing on Twitter, “Mocking George Floyd’s murder in effort to belittle the calls for justice from our Black and Brown communities is repugnant. I condemn this behavior in the strongest terms possible. We won’t let the actions of a few distract from our progress toward dismantling systemic racism.”

Floyd’s death over Memorial Day weekend has set off protests across the world.

That was the case Monday, when peaceful, chanting protesters marched along Delsea Drive in Franklinville, an unincorporated community in Franklin Township.

As the protest passed by a property, a group of men, with a President Trump banner behind them, shouted at protesters as one had his knee on the back of a man’s neck.

“You don’t comply, that’s what happens,” the kneeling man is heard saying in one video. “You don’t comply, that’s what happens right here, look. He didn’t comply. He didn’t comply. If he would’ve complied, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Floyd, who was being arrested for alleged forgery, was not armed and did not appear to be resisting arrest, according to multiple reports. The officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck – for nearly nine minutes – was ultimately charged with second-degree murder. The three other officers involved were also fired and were all later charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Multiple calls to Franklin Township Police Chief Brian Zimmer and Mayor John Bruno were not immediately returned. But Tuesday afternoon, the mayor, police chief and police department released a joint statement that does not specifically reference the kneeling incident, but denounces the actions of “certain individuals.”

“The Franklin Township committee and its police department are appalled and saddened by the revolting actions of certain individuals after Monday’s locally organized peaceful march,” the statement said. “This is not who we are as a community. We support the goal of this march which is to spread awareness and to ensure a better future for all of us.”

Source: NJ