Protest climaxes as cops arrest NJ man accused of racist diatribe – .

Protest climaxes as cops arrest NJ man accused of racist diatribe – .

Police escorted a Mount Laurel man from his home and into custody on Monday as more than 100 people demonstrated outside in response to a viral video that showed him shouting racial slurs at his neighbors.

Police had previously charged Edward Cagney Mathews, 45, with one-sided intimidation and harassment in Friday’s incident, after a resident of the 3800 block of Grammercy Way reported she had been “continuously harassed” by him. He will face an additional charge after the prosecutor’s office examined additional footage of the incident and determined that Mathews spat on the victim, Mount Laurel Police spokesperson Kyle Gardner said.

Protesters gathered outside his condo in the Essex Place Condominiums development on Monday for hours, yelling at him to get out and verbally confronting police officers standing outside his door. The tense scene erupted when police entered Mathews’ home and escorted him outside and into a police car after the new charge was filed.

The crowd around him cheered and shouted, some throwing plastic bottles of water and juice at Mathews as he made his way to the vehicle. Police Chief Steve Riedener told a news conference Monday night that police officers were also bombed with bottles and some were hit by pepper spray from some protesters.

None were injured, he said, noting that the majority of the protesters were peaceful. After Mathews was taken from his home, protesters smashed the windows of his apartment and police in riot gear removed them from the area. Riedener said all video footage will be reviewed as part of their investigation into this property damage.

People gathered in the generally quiet neighborhood said Mathews’ racist behavior was a persistent problem in the community and were not happy with the police response to the incident on camera.

A six-minute video of Friday’s incident, which police say depicts Matthews harassing, recently circulated on social media. The video shows Mathews on a black doorstep. He repeatedly uses racist slurs towards the black man and refuses to leave the property before telling the man to “come see me” and give his home address.

The last minute of the video shows Mathews shouting with an officer arriving and shouting the N word several times. Mathews curses the officer, who tells Mathews to “cut him off” and go home several times while trying to speak with the victim.

At a press conference shortly before 9 p.m., Burlington County District Attorney Scott Coffina discussed the additional charges against Mathews and praised the victim who was targeted by Mathews in the video.

“He showed incredible restraint with someone spitting horrible and vile things in his face and assaulting him,” Coffina said. “He didn’t deserve this. None of the locals deserve this. No one should ever feel unsafe in their home.

The Philadelphia Inquirer contacted Mathews by phone on Monday, reporting that he had apologized for his behavior, saying he had been drunk.

“I certainly didn’t expect a meet like this and I certainly didn’t expect to disrespect anyone,” Mathews told the Inquirer. “Be clear: this is no excuse for what I said, but I lost my temper. “

Edward Cagney Mathews was arrested at his Mount Laurel home on July 5, 2021. Mathews faces multiple charges after a video of him shouting racial slurs at one of his neighbors went viral.David hernandez

Marcus Sibley, president of the Southern Burlington NAACP, said Mathews had harassed black residents in the neighborhood for at least three years and that police had been notified in the past.

“The main thing that makes you shake your head is how in the world has it not been resolved… We are looking for reform. When we say we feel intimidated, we feel like we are hurt and hurt, we would like the answer to be, “This is wrong.” It’s inhumane. This is disrespectful, and we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, so that other people will learn that this is not the way you treat people.

Throughout Monday, Sibley said protesters were calling for additional charges against Mathews.

“We have seen people get shot for less. And (Mathews) not only used one of the most humiliating terms you can give a black person, he said it without hesitation, but he also said it once the cop came over and cursed. the policeman, ”Sibley said.

Gardner defended the police response, saying the officer was trying to defuse the situation by telling Mathews to go home. He said the department knew about Mathews from previous complaints, but that in previous cases much of the evidence was circumstantial.

At the press conference, Riedener said when residents complained in the past, police were unable to find probable cause to lay charges, or the charges were dismissed by the court. Video of Friday’s incident changed that.

Full plastic bottle spills over Edward Cagney Mathews as he was escorted by police from his home in Mount Laurel on July 5, 2021. Mathews faces multiple charges after video of him shouting racial slurs to one of its neighbors has gone viral, causing the outbreak.David hernandez

The mayor and township council issued a statement on Monday denouncing Mathew’s racism and “acts of hatred like that.”

“To say that we are appalled by the disturbing and vicious act of hate that was filmed would be an understatement,” the statement said. “This man’s actions do not reflect who we are as a community or our values. No one should feel unsafe or unwelcome in their own neighborhood, let alone in their hometown. “

Among those demonstrating earlier on Monday was Lawrence’s Tia Brown, who said she was upset by the video because she thinks the cop who responded was almost friendly with Matthews.

“They had a conversation with him like nothing had happened,” she said, pointing out that Matthews seemed comfortable verbally assaulting the victim in the presence of the cop. “No one should have to deal with a neighbor like that. “

Brown’s friend Jessie Hendricks of Ewing said the video showed a double standard in black and white policing, claiming that a black person behaving like Mathews would have received harsher treatment from the cops.

Coffina said Mathews was arrested on a warrant will have a first court date within three days.


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