FedEx Fires Employee Who Mocked George Floyd's Death in Front of Trump Yard Signs

A FedEx employee was fired by the company after videos appeared on social media showing him and several other men apparently mocking the death of George Floyd during a protest.

The FedEx employee knelt on the neck of a white man in front of a lumber yard as a Black Lives Matter protest passed by. Referencing Floyd, who died while in police custody, the man yelled at the crowd, "He's dead because he didn't comply." Videos of the counterprotest were posted on various social media platforms, enabling some users to identify the individuals involved in the display. A sign promoting the re-election of President Donald Trump was hung from a truck behind them.

This is James J Demarco a employee of @FedEx who felt it was appropriate to mock the MURDER of #GeorgeFloyd while my brother took part in a peaceful protest in New Jersey. #blacklivesmatter #blackouttuesday #icantbreathe #justiceforgeorgefloyd #civilrights #saytheirnames #racism

— ML (@stfuml) June 9, 2020

"The behavior depicted in the video, which involved a FedEx employee, is appalling and offensive," read a statement from FedEx sent to Newsweek on Tuesday. "The employee in question was immediately removed from all FedEx work duties while our investigation is concluded and all internal procedures are followed. A diverse and inclusive workforce is at the heart of our business, and we stand with those who support justice and equality." FedEx did not name the employee who was suspended in its statement.

new jersey, protests
A New Jersey FedEx employee was temporarily removed from his duties Tuesday after video surfaced of him mocking George Floyd's death during a George Floyd protest on Monday. Elsa/Getty

Late Tuesday, FedEx informed Newsweek in a statement that the individual in the video had been released from his position with the company.

"FedEx holds its team members to a high standard of personal conduct, and we do not tolerate the kind of appalling and offensive behavior depicted in this video," the statement read. "The individual involved is no longer employed by FedEx. A diverse and inclusive workforce is at the heart of our business, and we stand with those who support justice and equality."

Another participant in the reenactment of Floyd's death captured on the video was suspended from his position as a New Jersey corrections officer. In a Tuesday statement, the New Jersey Department of Corrections called the video "hateful and disappointing." The individual, who was not named in the statement, is under investigation.

Local lawmakers also spoke out against the individuals who mocked Floyd. In a joint statement, Franklin Township Mayor John Bruno and Police Chief Brian Zimmer decried it as "the revolting actions of certain individuals."

"Without an understanding and mutual respect for all individuals," the statement read, "we can never aspire to create a united community based upon the idea of human respect and dignity for all."

Photos of white people, mainly teenagers, have appeared on social media mocking the death in what some have called the "George Floyd Challenge." In the pictures, one individual kneels on the neck of another person.

Two students at the University of Maryland, College Park were identified in a Snapchat post participating in the alleged challenge. In a statement from the school, officials said the individuals had been referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

Some social media platforms have begun to move against the George Floyd Challenge, with Instagram hiding a hashtag indicating content related to the challenge.

Floyd's death while in the custody of Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers set off a wave of protests across the U.S. against police brutality and racism. Video of authorities detaining Floyd in May showed former Minneapolis police officer placing his knee against Floyd's neck. Floyd could be heard to say, "I can't breathe." Chauvin continued to kneel on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

Chauvin and three other officers were fired from the MPD in connection with Floyd's death. Chauvin was charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. On Monday, Chauvin's bail was set at $1.25 million.

Updated 9:37 p.m. EST 06/09/2020: This story has been updated to include a statement from FedEx announcing the firing of the employee seen in the video.