South Philadelphia

Family Court Supervisor Fired After Tearing Down BLM Signs in South Philly

“Black lives matter,” a woman tells Henkel in the video. “Not to me they don’t,” Henkel replies. 

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A family court supervisor was fired after a video was posted showing him tearing down “Black Lives Matter” signs from a fence in South Philadelphia. NBC10’s Aaron Baskerville gets reactions from demonstrators who say they won’t let the man’s actions stop their mission.

A Family Court supervisor was fired after a video surfaced showing him tearing down “Black Lives Matter” signs in South Philadelphia and telling a woman black lives didn’t matter to him. 

The video, which was posted Sunday on Facebook, shows a man, later identified as Michael Henkel, tearing down signs supporting the "Black Lives Matter" movement from a fence. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the incident occurred at Columbus Square at 12th and Reed Streets. 

“Black lives matter,” a woman tells Henkel in the video. 

“Not to me they don’t,” Henkel replies. 

Family Court specifically cited this video, originally posted on Facebook, when announcing Michael Henkel was fired.

Henkel was a Supervisor Writ Server for the First Judicial District's (FJD) Family Court, First Judicial District spokesperson Martin O'Rourke confirmed with NBC10. O’Rourke said Henkel was fired after the video was posted. 

“His termination was based on multiple violations of the UJS Code of Conduct and the Non-Discrimination and Equal Employment Policy,” O’Rourke wrote. 

“The Court takes this incident very seriously and believes Mr. Henkel's behavior as shown in the video is egregious and totally unacceptable for an employee of the Courts.”

The video was posted the same weekend a crowd of men, some armed with bats and guns, gathered around the Christopher Columbus statue in South Philadelphia's Marconi Plaza, clashing with protesters and a reporter.

The group claimed they were there to "protect" the statue amid incidents nationwide in which other effigies of Columbus were torn down by demonstrators.