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Family Court Announces It Fired Official Who Was Recorded Saying Black Lives Didn’t Matter to Him


An official in Philadelphia is out of a job. A family court identified him as the man seen on video tearing down Black Lives Matter signs, and saying he didn’t care about black lives.

The behavior of Michael Henkel as seen on footage “is egregious and unacceptable for an employee for the court,” First Judicial District’s Family Court spokesman Martin O’Rourke said in a statement to WPVI.

Footage shows a man (identified as Henkel) tearing down Black Lives Matter signs in South Philadephia.

“That’s not your property,” said a woman heard in the video.

“I know,” he said. “It’s the city. I pay for this.”

“Oh, you pay for that,” the woman said sarcastically.

“Yeah, my taxes pay for this place, yep,” said the man identified as Henkel. “Just so you know. So I can do whatever I want.”

“Oh, you can do whatever you want,” she said.

“You’re fucking right I can,” said the man.

“All right,” said the woman.

“And I’m always around here too,” he said.

“Great,” said the woman. “I live right here too.”

“Good,” he said. “I’m always around. You’re welcome.”

“Black lives matter,” said the woman.

“Yeah, not to me they don’t,” said the man.

The video doesn’t end there, but that’s most relevant part of the passive aggressive back and forth.

Anyway, Henkel was identified as a supervisor for the Writ Services Unit for a family court.

The video eventually landed on the radar of officials.

O’Rourke said that Henkel wasn’t involved in cases, but did supervise employees, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The now-fired official could not be reached for comment.

And oh dear, do our eyes deceive us? Is this him in a February 2017 report from WPVI? A “Michael Henkel” from South Philadelphia (where the sign incident happened) spoke to the local ABC affiliate amid repairs of the city’s LOVE sculpture.

“Michael Henkel” in a 2017 news story

“The city and the country need more love,” he said. “Absolutely this country is so divided, and I hope soon that either God or the people see the light of day and start loving one another again, because we need it.”

[Screengrab via video posted to Twitter by @lin_newborn_]

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