Things aren’t looking up for Edward “Cagney” Mathews, who went viral in July for his racist rant against a Black neighbor. As you may remember, Edward also challenged folks to pull up if they had an issue. So, a crowd of protestors accepted his invitation and later celebrated as police took Edward into custody. Now, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office has announced new charges against Edward, along with separate charges against four protestors.
“The only silver lining to Mathews’ rantings is that it allowed the justice system finally to intervene to hold him accountable for his conduct, not just that day, but for several other incidents and in the larger picture, for his alleged campaign of harassment against African American members of the Essex Place HOA over a fourteen-month period,” the prosecutor’s report stated.
The racist confrontation took place on July 2 in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Edward aggressively approached and shouted racial slurs at a Black neighbor. He screamed for the neighbor to learn the law and called him a “monkey.”
Turns out, his viral moment wasn’t the first time he’d acted this way towards Black neighbors. However, the Mount Laurel Police Department says they treated previous complaints against Edward on a case-by-case basis. This means his racist misconduct went unchecked because the individual cases either didn’t have any criminal behavior or enough evidence to charge. But, the prosecutor’s office says it was not due to favoritism.
“However, MLPD may not have recognized the true problem – Mathews’ relentless, racially-motivated campaign to harass African American HOA board members until they left the board or even their homes,” the prosecutor’s report said.
The 45-year-old is now charged for 22 crimes or offenses across “six separate incidents involving harassment, vandalism and bias crimes against his neighbors.” All of which identify as African-American.
The prosecutor’s report says the charges are “pending.” This means Edward “still benefits from the presumption of innocence on all of them.” At this time, Edwards remains in custody of police, where he has been since first being arrested.
Four protestors are also facing charges due to their actions while police escorted Edward from his townhouse to the police car and actions following the arrest. Each of the crimes were reportedly captured on camera or shown in a local newscast the night of the protest.
“These actions included deploying pepper spray at the officers and Mathews, spitting at police officers, throwing a brick through a window of Mathews’ townhouse, and throwing a rock in the direction of the police putting Mathews in the patrol car, striking and damaging the police vehicle,” the report stated.
This is a developing story.
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