Who Is Edward Cagney Mathews of Mount Laurel? Racial Slurs in Video Spark Protest

Edward Cagney Mathews was arrested on Monday afternoon in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, while hundreds of protesters gathered outside his home after a video of him shouting racial slurs at his neighbors went viral.

The 45-year-old was escorted from his home and taken into custody by the police, just three days after he was first charged with harassment and biased intimidation.

On Friday, July 2, Mount Laurel Police Department said in a statement that it had launched an investigation after a "disturbing video was widely circulated on social media showing Mathews shouting offensive and racial slurs at his neighbors."

The six-minute video showed Mathews repeatedly shouting racial slurs towards a Black man, while standing on the latter's doorstep and refusing to leave the premises. He is heard making a reference to Africa and monkeys. As a police officer arrives on the scene, Mathews can be heard shouting the n-word multiple times.

Mathews was charged and then subsequently allowed to return home on Friday, July 2. On Monday, Mount Laurel Police spokesman Kyle Gardner told NJ.com that a new charge had been filed by the prosecutor's office after it reviewed new footage showing Mathews had spat on the victim.

Throngs of protesters assembled outside his house on Monday, calling for him to come out and for police to take him into custody.

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 (@AlexandriaHoff) July 5, 2021

In Mount Laurel where protesters amassed outside the home of a man who was charged after a video of him using racist slurs against a neighbor Friday went viral. Hours into the tense standoff, with cops posted at the guy's door, they walked him out into the crowd. #MountLaurel pic.twitter.com/adn7TEMi99

— Rebecca Everett (@RebeccajEverett) July 6, 2021

The standoff grew tense once Mathews was led out of his home and into a police car by officers. Videos posted online show the crowd cheering and yelling, and plastic bottles being thrown towards Mathews as he walked the short distance from his porch to the police vehicle.

According to NJ.com, Police Chief Steve Riedener told a press conference on Monday that some of the officers involved in arresting Mathews were themselves hit by bottles and by pepper spray from some protesters.

"I totally understand why the protesters were here today. They had seen videos that weren't available to us on Friday night that were even worse," Burlington County prosecutor Scott Coffina said at a press conference on Monday night, per CBS.

He then commended the man targeted in the video for keeping control of his nerves.

"He showed incredible restraint with someone spewing awful, vile things in his face and assaulting him," Coffina added. "He didn't deserve that. None of the residents deserve that. No one should ever feel unsafe in their home."

Mathews told the Philadelphia Inquirer that his abusive behavior was the result of him being drunk and apologized for his conduct.

"I certainly wasn't expecting an encounter like that and certainly wasn't expecting to disrespect anybody," Mathews told the newspaper over the phone. "Let me be clear: That is no excuse for what I said, but I lost my temper."