Angry women confront NJ Gov. Phil Murphy over COVID-19 policies as he eats dinner out


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s family had their meal interrupted after what appears to be a pair of women began cursing at the governor over his COVID-19 policies.

A 36-second video clip of the incident spread over social media after it was posted on Facebook Sunday afternoon.

At least two women appear to be yelling at Murphy off camera, saying “Oh my God, Murphy. You are such a (expletive).” Seconds later, one of the women told Murphy’s son Josh, “You can go (expletive) yourself” when he asked her to put on her mask.

This is totally out of line&out of bounds. Criticizing policy,heated debate -in the public arena – is all ok. But harassment of anyone while w/family, on private time is not acceptable. We’re all sick &tired of this mess. @GovMurphy too, trust me..let’s cut each other some slack.
— Declan O’Scanlon

“You know why I don’t need to wear a mask. Because their ain’t nothing (expletive) wrong with me,” one woman said.

Josh Murphy then points to the woman’s cell phone case, saying, “I like your Trump phone case. Guess who Trump likes. He likes my dad.” The woman responded with more cursing.

The family did not have masks on while eating, which is permitted under Murphy’s COVID-19 restrictions, however they began putting them on as the women walked away from the table.

It’s not clear who the women are or what preceded or followed the brief interaction capture on video. It’s also not clear if Murphy’s security detail was with the family.

Murphy’s office did not immediately respond to comments.

A Freehold woman who appears to be the first person to post the video online took the clip down from her Facebook page Monday morning. Other news websites credited her for sharing the video with them. She also did not respond to a message sent to her on the social media platform.

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It’s not clear at what restaurant Murphy and his family were eating. People commenting on social media identified the restaurant location being in both Asbury Park and Red Bank, however, officials in both towns have not been able to confirm the incident occurred at a restaurant in their community.

But two of Monmouth County’s state senators spoke out against the video.

District 13 state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, a Republican who is regularly critical of Murphy’s policies, wrote on his Twitter account the incident was “totally out of line.” He said the incident is not the same as having a heated political debate over policy differences.

“But harassment of anyone while w/family, on private time is not acceptable. We’re all sick &tired of this mess,” he said.

District 11 state Sen. Vin Gopal, a Democrat, described the video as “ugly behavior.”

“This lack of civility by this woman continues 2 be a stain on our society,” he wrote.

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Susanne Cervenka covers Monmouth County government and property tax issues, winning several state and regional awards for her work. She’s covered local government for 15 years, with stops in Ohio and Florida before arriving in New Jersey in 2013. Contact her at @scervenka; 732-643-4229; scervenka@gannettnj.com.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: NJ Gov. Phil Murphy cursed at over COVID-19 policies as he eats dinner with family

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