Racist protesters in Mount Laurel, NJ could also face charges

MOUNT LAUREL – Prosecutors said they would look into the charges against those who gathered outside the home of a man who used racist slurs against his neighbors.

Protesters were seen throwing water bottles at police and hitting the man with a Black Lives Matter flag as he was arrested by police on Monday.

Edward C. Matthews was filmed on Friday night shouting racist slurs at his neighbors, according to Mount Laurel police who accused him of harassment and intimidation of bias. [You can watch the video at this link. WARNING: It is not censored for vulgar and profane language.]

However, the police did not stop him initially.

According to a complaint, Matthews called his neighbor Etchu Tambe a “monkey” and used the N word, hit his chest and appeared to spit on him.

On Monday evening, prosecutors said they were laying new charges against Mathews based on additional video footage.

Matthews has been charged with harassment for the purpose of intimidating because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ethnic origin.

In an interview with 6ABC Action News before his arrest, Matthews said he was drunk and on time and asked for forgiveness.

“Whatever I need to do to catch up with the community – and the world at this point, seeing how big it is – understand I made a mistake, let me move on , as we all deserve, ”he added. The 6ABC report quoted him as saying.

Large crowds gathered outside Matthews’ home for hours in the afternoon before he was arrested on the new charges.

Officers surrounding Matthews as they escorted him to a police vehicle around 7:30 p.m. were hit with water bottles and pepper spray, according to ABC Action News coverage of his arrest.

Burlington County District Attorney Scott Coffina called Matthew’s behavior “vile and despicable.” He also praised the neighbors for showing restraint against Matthews, but criticized the crowd.

“It is unfortunate that some participants in yesterday’s demonstration resorted to violence and destruction of property, including those of the accused’s neighbors, as police attempted to escort the accused from his home to the waiting patrol car, ”Coffina said. “We will examine the evidence from the scene and hold anyone responsible for criminal acts yesterday.”

(Includes material copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at [email protected] or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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