LOS ANGELES -- A report that Los Angeles police officers circulated a photo of George Floyd with the words “you take my breath away” in a Valentine-like format has prompted an internal investigation and drawn blistering condemnation from Floyd’s family, the district attorney and the police union.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Saturday that investigators will try to determine how the image may have come into the workplace and who may have been involved, the Los Angeles Times reported. Moore said the officer who made the complaint would be interviewed Monday.
“Our investigation is to determine the accuracy of the allegations while also reinforcing our zero tolerance for anything with racist views,” Moore said.
Floyd, a Black man, died last May after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck as Floyd repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.” His death launched massive protests nationwide over racial injustice and police brutality.
Ben Crump, an attorney for Floyd's family, said Monday that the family is outraged.
“This is beyond insult on top of injury — it’s injury on top of death. 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," Crump 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.”
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon condemned the image, saying he would investigate the matter to see if any of his cases “may have been compromised by biased police work."
The board of directors for the Los Angeles Police Protective League said in a statement that the union “repudiates this abhorrent image" and that any officer who “feels the need to be part of any online group that engages in, promotes, and/or celebrates this type of activity should quickly rethink their career choice because they clearly don’t have the judgment, nor temperament, to be a member of law enforcement.”
If the internal investigation confirms LAPD officers circulated the image, “people will find my wrath,” the police chief said.
The Times reported that Moore also confirmed the department is investigating two anonymous Instagram accounts reportedly linked to department personnel — including one called the “Blue Line Mafia.”