‘Do I want to make it better? Yes,’ says NJ man who faced racial slurs on video

New Jersey

Police escort Edward Cagney Mathews through a crowd of people who had gathered outside his Mount Laurel, N.J., home, Monday, July 5, 2021. Mathews, a white man who is being called racist after a video went viral of him pushing a Black neighbor with his chest and using racist slurs to address the neighbor and others, was arrested Monday after protesters gathered at his home for hours. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

MT. LAUREL, N.J. — A Black New Jersey man who endured racist slurs caught on video last week is serving in the U.S. Air Force.

Etchu Tanyoh Brandon Tambe said Wednesday in an interview that the interaction has reinforced the need for more discussion about race in America.

Tambe, who is Black, was seen in a video Friday arguing with a white man who uses racist epithets at him and other neighbors.

The white man, Edward C. Mathews, was later arrested and faces harassment and disorderly conduct charges, according to police documents.

Tambe said he moved to the U.S. in 2017 from Cameroon, becoming a citizen in 2019. He says America is home and he wants to make it a better place.

A six-minute video of the explosive interaction quickly went viral online. Over the course of the video, Matthews, 45, uses multiple racial slurs and calls a Black man a “monkey” and a “dumb, ignorant n—-r.”

“Learn your laws. This is not Africa,” he can be seen saying on the video.

Before he left, Matthews shouted his address to the person filming and told anyone watching to come see him.

Protesters gathered at his home on Monday.

As officers escorted Matthews from his home Monday, crowds of protesters shouted and threw objects, NJ.com reported.

The video linked to here contains racist and graphic language

“Now, what I did was not acceptable. It’s completely wrong,” Mathews is seen saying in another video filmed by a protester on Monday before his arrest.

Police charged Matthews with harassment and biased intimidation. Officials said they were “actively investigating other incidents involving” Matthews.

“The Mount Laurel Police Department does not tolerate hate or bias intimidation in any form,” police said. “This type of behavior is totally unacceptable. We can assure our residents that incidents like this are thoroughly investigated and that those who commit such offenses will be held accountable for their actions.”

On Monday evening, prosecutors said at a press conference that they were bringing new charges against Mathews based on additional video footage, but did not say what the new charges were.

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