A man in Mount Laurel, New Jersey sparked a Black Lives Matter protest outside his house after he was caught on camera yelling the n-word at his neighbors! In a now-viral video, the man in question, Edward Cagney Mathews (inset), can be seen striking up an aggressive argument with a young Black man after attempting to get in contact with his neighbors, an interracial senior citizen couple.
When the door is opened by the elderly wife, Edward is heard demanding:
“I have every right to be here. Get your husband.”
The younger man then steps in to help, which has become the most viewed portion of the clip caught on a nearby camera Friday. In the altercation, Edward shouts:
“This is not Africa, or or wherever the you were.”
Not backing down, the other man responds:
“I was born in America, and I don’t give a s**t about you.”
According to neighbors, the residents had been having issues for a long time stemming from disputes with the development’s HOA board, including a racial slur written on a wooden fence (seen in the video, below), that Matthews claims he did not vandalize.
Police eventually arrived on the scene to shut down the confrontation, but did not stop Matthews from giving out his address and encouraging folks to come to his residence — which they did in droves on Monday! Media outlets and protesters alike crowded outside the home in protest against Edward, who now insists he’s not racist. He told WPVI-TV just before he was taken into custody:
“There is nothing I’m going to be able to say that’s going to justify me using the words that I used. Whatever I have to do to make it up to the community — and the world at this point, seeing how big it is — understand that I made a mistake, allow me the ability to move forward, just like we all deserve.”
After an hours-long protest, Edward was ultimately arrested by the police guarding his home. As he was escorted away, the crowd turned slightly “dangerous,” according to Laurel Police Chief Steve Riedner. In a video (below), some protesters were seen tossing water bottles at the passing car and policemen. Otherwise, the demonstration remained peaceful.
Speaking to a local Philadelphia ABC Action News station, one witness discussed the importance of the moment, saying:
“We’re not just going to let him harass people, especially Black people within this community or any community.”
Adding onto that, two Black women claimed to have been harassed by Matthews before, but nothing changed despite an effort to “get justice.” Reflecting on the past, the older woman, Aliya Robinson, recalled:
“We have tried to get justice, and if we got justice, this wouldn’t be happening now.”
Edward will be held in custody pending a detention hearing, which will likely happen on Friday. Here’s to hoping justice is officially served in this ongoing issue!
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