Hundreds of people in New Jersey’s Mt Laurel township gathered to protest in front of the house of a man purportedly captured on video hurling racial slurs at his neighbour.
The man, identified as 45-year-old Edward Cagney Matthews, is a resident of the Essex Place condo complex. In the video, which went viral on social media, Mr Matthews can be seen spitting, shouting and using racial slurs and abuses against his Black neighbour. The six-minute-long video was reportedly filmed on Friday last week.
“Learn your laws. This is not Africa or (inaudible) or wherever the (expletive) you were,” Mr Matthews is heard saying in the video. The other man in the video replies: “I was born in America and I don’t give an (expletive) about you.”
“And you wanna know where I was when all his happened? At work (expletive), just like I told the Mount Laurel police, get these (expletive) (expletive) (expletive) out of here and you can’t do (expletive),” Mr Mathews says in the video.
In the video Mr Matthews is heard using the N-word to describe his neighbour. “You can’t do s***,” he says.
The altercation continued even after a police officer showed up.
An investigation was launched by the police, after which Mr Matthews was charged with bias, intimidation, and harassment on Friday. However, local organisations and protestors demanded more charges against him, saying the existing ones were not enough.
On Monday, a few residents gathered in front of Mr Matthews’s house in protest. The number of protesters swelled to more than a 100 by midday, according to the Fox 29 channel.
“It’s disgusting that he talks like that and spoke like that,” Marne Davis, a neighbour, was quoted as saying by Fox29.
“It’s just detestable,” said Gary Frazier Jr, another protester. “We need to come together and root the stuff out (sic). How we going to fix things and allow this type of behaviour?” he added.
The protests continued till police entered Mr Matthews’s home on Monday evening and put him in handcuffs. Burlington county prosecutor Scott Coffina said Mr Matthews would be spending the night in prison.
“I want to especially commend the victim, who showed incredible restraint with someone spewing foul, vile things in his face,” Mr Coffina said.
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