Video by: Isaiah Showell, Follow South Jersey Multimedia Journalist/’What’s Good’ Host
Story by: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
Editor’s Note: The following video contains language that some may find offensive. Viewer discretion is advised.
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Edward Cagney Mathews, a 45-year-old Mount Laurel resident, was arrested at his home on Monday and charged with harassment and bias intimidation.
Mathews was caught on film using a racially-charged slur, and the video of his tirade went viral on Facebook. He invited community members to “come [expletive] see me” during the rant and gave out his address. Community members responded by showing up and holding a peaceful protest outside of Mathews’ home.
“It’s like I told the Mount Laurel police, get these [expletive] monkey [expletive] out of here, and he can’t do [expletive],” Mathews said during the video, which was uploaded to social media by Brandon Lambe. “That’s me talking [expletive]. 3602 Grammercy Way, that’s where I live. Come [expletive] see me. So you’re real comfortable — get me on video so you know who you see. Bring whoever.”
In addition to the harassment and bias intimidation charges, Mathews will reportedly face another charge for spitting on the victim, according to NJ.com.
Mathews’ wish for people to “come [expletive] see me” came true shortly after the video was uploaded to Facebook. Protesters gathered outside of his condominium in the Essex Place condo development. The vast majority of those protesters were peaceful, according to the Mount Laurel Police Department, but some tried to confront Mathews and the police officers who stood outside his condo.
When Mathews was taken out of the house in handcuffs and placed in a police cruiser, the protesters erupted in applause, but some threw plastic bottles at him and the arresting officers. No one was injured at any point throughout the protest.
Some community members who attended the protest were frustrated with the police for allowing the tense scenes to escalate into a full-blown protest.
“I’ve seen this gentleman many times. I truly think there’s something off with him,” Lauren DeShields said. “But I’ve never seen it to this degree that it would get this bad. And it’s sad. I blame the police department more than anything. They could’ve stopped this a long time ago, and they haven’t.”
“The priorities are all screwed up, and we need to change that,” Denise Gamble added. “People matter more than property, and these people out here today have very real grievances that need to be addressed from the highest venue on down. These people need to be made to feel welcome in this town and not have to fight the same battles that people have been fighting since I was born in 1965. It’s ridiculous.”
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