Biba Adams thegrio.com
Police in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey arrested a man who went on a six-minute racist tirade Friday against his neighbors, an interaction caught on camera that led to a community showdown on Monday.
“Learn your laws. This is not Africa or (inaudible) or wherever the f**k you were,” Edward Cagney Mathews says to his neighbor, who is Black. The man replies in their July 2 encounter, “I was born in America, sir … and I don’t give a f**k about you.”
When police arrived, Mathews, 45, told them they had no jurisdiction at his home, saying, “Go talk to these f**king n***ers.” When the officer tells Mathews to stop, he responds, “F**k you, go talk to the n***ers, and let ’em know what I’m all about and what f**king rights they have.”
When asked by an officer to stop talking and go back into his home, Mathews refused, claiming that he was standing on “common property.”
On the video capturing his tirade, he gave his address several times before walking away, issuing the challenge: “Come f**king see me.”
On Monday, about 100 protesters showed up to do just that.
According to a local report, Jazmyn Suszynski and her mother, Aliya Robinson, were among those who came to Mathews’ home Monday to protest, claiming they had been victimized by his racist behavior in years past.
“I tried. We have tried to get justice, and if we got justice, this wouldn’t be happening now,” said Robinson.
A woman who said she was too harassed by Mathews but did not want to be identified told 6ABC News he had vandalized her home before the July 2 viral encounter.
“Sad because it should not be that many times,” she said. “If the justice system had done their work like I previously said, he would not be here at this point. He should have been stopped years back.”
According to the report, the problems stemmed from issues between Mathews and the homeowners association board in the Essex Place condo complex where he lives. But Robinson said he has a history of harassing others. “The guy is off his rocker, and they need to get him out,” she told Fox 29. “He cannot be racially harassing and assaulting people, spitting on people, busting down doors, breaking windows and writing ‘White lives matter’ on stuff.”
Mathews has been charged with harassment and biased intimidation. In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mathews said his racist language wasn’t meant to be racist and that he used similar language with white people.
“I certainly wasn’t expecting an encounter like that and certainly wasn’t expecting to disrespect anybody,” Mathews said. “Let me be clear: That is no excuse for what I said, but I lost my temper.”
He added, “Anybody that knows me knows that I just talk like this.”
The local NAACP president said the charges against Mathews for his racist attack aren’t enough.
“We told them flat out the charges are ridiculous and then we learned that when the charges were put out, the video wasn’t released, yet, so we said people aren’t gonna leave here until that person goes out in handcuffs,” said Marcus Sibley, head of the Southern Burlington County NAACP.
In a statement, the Mount Laurel Police Department said they do “not tolerate hate or bias intimidation in any form. This type of behavior is totally unacceptable. We can assure our residents that incidents like this are thoroughly investigated and that those who commit such offenses will be held accountable for their actions.”
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