Los Angeles Police Department investigating George Floyd ‘Valentine’ circulated by officers

    Candle votives made of ice light the memorial at George Floyd Square Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. Photo by Nicole Neri/Minnesota Reformer.

    The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating a Valentine-style image that circulated among officers, which showed a picture of George Floyd with the words “You take my breath away,” according to the L.A. Times.

    Floyd said repeatedly “I can’t breathe” while former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes until he died. Chauvin is scheduled to stand trial for murder and manslaughter next month for the May 25 killing, with the three other involved officers facing trial later this summer.

    “This is beyond insult on top of injury — it’s injury on top of death,” wrote civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Floyd family, 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 image came to the attention of department leaders in Los Angeles after an officer filed an internal complaint. That officer will be interviewed by the department on Monday.

    “Our investigation is to determine the accuracy of the allegations while also reinforcing our zero tolerance for anything with racist views,” Police Chief Michel Moore told the Times on Saturday.

    He added that officers “will find my wrath” if they are found to have circulated the image.

    Floyd’s death sparked widespread protests across the country and catalyzed an effort to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. Activists launched a citizen-led petition drive on Saturday to put replacing the police department on the November ballot.

    Max Nesterak
    Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.