The LAPD is investigating a report that officers passed around a Valentine’s Day message with a picture of George Floyd that said, ‘you take my breath away’

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A mural painted by artist Kenny Altidor depicting George Floyd is unveiled on a sidewall of CTown Supermarket on July 13, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough New York City. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
  • The LAPD is investigating an alleged message a group of officers were sharing on Valentine’s day.
  • The message featured a photo of George Floyd with the caption, “You take my breath away.”
  • Floyd’s family and the Los Angeles County DA are speaking out against the message.
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The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating an offensive Valentine’s Day post, which was allegedly being passed around by a group of officers. The meme featured a mock valentine photo of George Floyd with a caption that said, “You take my breath away,” according to reporting from the Los Angeles Times.

In May 2020, Floyd was killed after then-Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes as Floyd told him that he could not breathe. His death ignited national protests against police brutality and racism, with demonstrations held across all states and globally in the summer.

The LA Times reported that on Sunday, the LAPD launched an investigation into the affair.

On Tuesday, LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the paper, “Our investigation is to determine the accuracy of the allegations while also reinforcing our zero-tolerance for anything with racist views,” adding that, “If the department confirms officers were circulating the image, “people will find my wrath.”

Moore added that the officer who issued the complaint was interviewed on Monday. The LAPD tweeted on Saturday that it was also investigating whether an officer authored the post.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón spoke out about the alleged message sent around, stating that anyone involved in creating or sharing it should be fired.

“Celebrating the murder of a Black man at the hands of police demonstrates a profound absence of humanity,” Gascón told the Times. “The mock Valentine underscores the highly problematic and, frankly, racist perceptions that pervade the law enforcement culture regarding the communities we are sworn to protect and serve.”

Gascón praised the LAPD’s internal investigation and said his office “will be looking into this matter to determine if the integrity of any of our cases may have been compromised by biased police work.”

Floyd’s family also reacted to the message through family attorney Ben Crump. “This is beyond insult on top of injury — it’s injury on top of death,” Crump said 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.”

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, also shared its dismay.

“The Los Angeles Police Protective League repudiates this abhorrent image and anyone associated with its creation, dissemination, or passive observation of it,” the statement said.

“If that image was created, ‘liked,’ or shared by a member of the LAPD, the Chief of Police must act swiftly to hold those individuals accountable,” it said. “There must be zero tolerance for this behaviour in our profession.”