The Los Angeles Police Department is launching an investigation regarding a complaint made about a meme with an image of George Floyd and the accompanying caption, “You take my breath away,” that was apparently circulated within the department, the city’s police chief said this weekend.
LAPD officials are now conducting the internal investigation into the complaint, which alleges the image was “passed around” among officers. The meme was styled as a Valentine’s Day greeting, Chief Michael Moore said.
“Our investigation is to determine the accuracy of the allegations while also reinforcing our zero-tolerance for anything with racist views,” Moore told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.
Moore added that those responsible “will find my wrath.
The employee accused of sharing the Floyd meme wasn’t immediately identified, but was scheduled to be interviewed by department officials on Monday. It’s unclear where the meme originated or if any other officers were involved in its creation.
“At this point the Department has not identified any actual postings in the workplace or identified that it was in fact our department employee who created the image,” the LAPD said in a statement. “We have raised the apparent existence of the image and directed commands to survey the worksites for it.”
Police are investigating two Instagram accounts — including one account named “Blue Line Mafia” — which may be connected to the incendiary post and department staff, the Los Angeles Times reported.
On May 25, 2020, Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee on the unarmed Black man’s neck for around eight minutes. Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests condemning police brutality and calling for racial justice.
News of the Los Angeles police scandal “understandably outraged” Floyd’s family, according to civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
“This is beyond insult on top of injury — it’s injury on top of death,” Crump told Oxygen.com in a statement.
“The type of callousness and cruelty within a person’s soul needed to do something like this evades comprehension — and is indicative of a much larger problem within the culture of the LAPD,” he said. “We demand that everyone who was involved is held accountable for their revolting behavior and that an apology be issued to the family immediately."
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