Friday, May 7, 2021

LAPD Warns of ‘Zero Tolerance’ Over George Floyd Valentine Meme Allegedly Created By Employee

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The Los Angeles Police Department has warned of “zero tolerance” after launching an investigation into allegations that a Valentine-themed meme of George Floyd with the caption “You take my breath away” was circulating among officers.

In a post on Twitter, the LAPD said the department is aware the image was being “passed around” by officers and that it was allegedly created by an LAPD employee.

LAPD chief Michel Moore told The Los Angeles Times on Saturday that the officer who reported the photo is going to be interviewed on Monday.

A personnel complaint has been initiated and we are pursuing each allegation including interviewing the department member who brought it to our attention.

— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) February 14, 2021

The department’s internal investigation is looking to determine how the image entered the workplace and who may have been involved, according to The Times.

Moore also confirmed that the LAPD is investigating two Instagram accounts that have been reported as linked to the department’s personnel.

“Our investigation is to determine the accuracy of the allegations while also reinforcing our zero tolerance for anything with racist views,” Moore said.

He added that if it is confirmed that officers were circulating the photo, those involved “will find my wrath.”

In a series of tweets on Saturday night, the LAPD said it had not confirmed if the photo was created by a department employee.

“The Department has become aware of allegations that an image was being passed around the department and this image was in the workplace,” the first tweet said. “There are also allegations that the post with the image was authored by a department employee.”

If found any employee or supervisor is directed to take possession and identify those present. The Department will have zero tolerance for this type of behavior.

— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) February 14, 2021

The thread continued: “A personnel complaint has been initiated and we are pursuing each allegation including interviewing the department member who brought it to our attention.

“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. We have raised the apparent existence of the image and directed commands to survey the worksites for it.”

Another tweet said: “If found any employee or supervisor is directed to take possession and identify those present. The Department will have zero tolerance for this type of behavior.”

The LAPD has been contacted for additional comment.

Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in May last year after a white Minneapolis officer kneeled on his head for more than eight minutes as he repeatedly gasped: “I can’t breathe.”

Footage of the encounter circulated widely online and triggered protests against police brutality and racial injustice across the U.S.—including in Los Angeles—and the world.


George Floyd protest in Los Angeles
A protester holds a sign reading ‘I Can’t Breathe’ outside the District Attorney’s office during a peaceful demonstration over George Floyd’s death on June 3, 2020 in Los Angeles.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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