Hundreds protesters gathered after Mount Laurel man charged for racist rant against neighbors
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a South Jersey townhome Monday afternoon. They gathered outside 45-year-old Edward Cagney Mathews’ home in Mount Laurel after video of his racist rant against his neighbor went viral.
Late Monday evening, police took the man into custody.
Protesters were angry that Mathews, seen in videos using racial slurs, was charged with harassment, but then allowed to return home.
New charges have emerged Monday evening as Mathews was taken into custody in dramatic fashion.
According to neighbors, the harassment went even beyond the use of racial slurs. One woman said Mathews kicked down her door and vandalized her vehicle.
It was a dramatic home removal for a man who many claim has been harassing neighbors outside of his Mount Laurel home for years.
Police were called to Mathews’ home Friday shortly after a disturbing video went viral where police say Mathews was “shouting offensive and racial slurs” at a neighbor.
“This is not Africa,” Mathews can be heard saying in the video. “This monkey over here and this monkey over here…”
On Friday, Mathews was charged with biased intimidation and harassment.
“A judge decided that they should be on a summons so that evening, Mr. Mathews was released,” Mount Laurel Police Chief Steve Riedener said.
Monday afternoon, protestors arrived to his home, demanding police take Mathews into custody.
“This is America, we all live here, we cannot put up with this,” Alyia Robinson said.
Several years ago, Robinson’s daughter, Jazmyn, lived in an apartment below Mathews in a different nearby apartment complex. Once the recent video was shared online, she decided to upload one she had taken back.
“I’m literally in fear all the time living with my son, like what am I supposed to do?” Robinson said.
Another neighbor said that at least 10 others have been continually harassed for the color of their skin.
He used a BB gun to shoot their windows out, he smeared dog feces all over their car,” one neighbor said.
I totally understand why the protestors were here today. They had seen videos that weren’t available to us on Friday night that were even worse.
– Scott Coffina, Burlington County prosecutor
Once the new video was reviewed, new charges were added, including assault. The decision was made to arrest Mathews.
The protests that had remained calm all day got heated as police and SWAT units pulled Mathews from his home.
Despite pleas from many community members some younger people have been throwing objects at suspects house. With Matthews removed from the home crowd has moved back. pic.twitter.com/VYJcgMVrt7
— Alexandria Hoff
Several bottles were thrown at Mathews’ home and at the police, but many community members urged that action to stop.