Los Angeles police are investigating an officer’s complaint that a photo of George Floyd is being passed around with the words “You take my breath away” in a Valentine’s Day message that is beyond saddening. “Our investigation is to determine the accuracy of the allegations while also reinforcing our zero tolerance for anything with racist views,” Chief Michel Moore told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.
Moore said the officer who initiated the complaint will be interviewed on Monday and if Moore is able to confirm the allegation, “people will find my wrath,” he said.
Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis police custody after former officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd was accused by a 17-year-old store clerk of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy a pack of cigarettes, according to a transcript of the 911 call CBS News obtained. The father’s last words were “I can’t breathe,” according to body-camera footage CNN obtained.
In an internal email circulating political strategist Jasmyne Cannick posted on Twitter Saturday, Capt. Jay Mastick passed along Moore’s disgust and direction to “reinforce the need for professionalism on our online behavior.” Messages with inappropriate content may also result in discipline,” Mastick said in the email. “I ask that you maintain your professionalism and use judicious restraint while posting online, because it will ultimately reflect on the you and your position with the Department.”
Cannick said in a Twitter thread she can’t even tell in the email if the post is considered “a problem let alone discipline worthy.” “There’s nothing in that email about not being racist—just keep it professional,” she said in the thread. “Anyway, I appreciate the folks in the department who tell the folks not in the department what’s really going on. That’s transparency.”
Moore faced criticism last June when he condemned looters just as harshly in a virtual briefing as the cops that detained Floyd, The New York Times reported. Moore said then that Floyd’s death “is on their hands as much as it is on those officers.”
The police chief followed the statement with an apology on Twitter. “While I did immediately correct myself, I recognize that my initial words were terribly offensive,” he said in the tweet. “Looting is wrong, but it is not the equivalent of murder and I did not mean to equate the two. I deeply regret and humbly apologize for my characterization.” Moore added: “Let me be clear: The police officers involved were responsible for the death of George Floyd.”
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