A Los Angeles police officer who allegedly shared a Valentine’s Day-style meme mocking the death of George Floyd should be fired, the department’s top cop said.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday he decided to send the unidentified officer’s case to a disciplinary panel that will determine if and how the cop should be punished for the graphic that circulated in February depicting a pink card with Floyd’s face on it and a caption, “You take my breath away.”
Moore, who lacks the authority to fire officers, said the move was the “most aggressive act” he could take by sending the officer’s case to the panel known as a Board of Rights, saying he hopes to send a message that such conduct won’t be tolerated, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Moore told the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners that investigators think the officer got the image online and shared it with another cop who was upset by the distasteful meme.
California’s privacy law blocks the department from identifying the officer. The outcome of the cop’s hearing will not be made public unless he appeals any punishment in state court, the newspaper reported.
Moore said no evidence shows that the image was created or sent from an LAPD facility, NBC Los Angeles reported. Multiple officers who saw the meme were interviewed, Moore said.
“That conduct will not be tolerated,” Moore said Tuesday. “I recognize how corrosive it is to the public trust.”
Ben Crump, an attorney for Floyd’s family, said he agreed with Moore’s recommendation, claiming the officer revealed he’s not fit for duty for allegedly sharing the meme.
“If a person has that kind of mentality, they are not the type of people who we want with a gun and a badge,” Crump told the Times. “We have to try to stomp out this implicit bias as much as possible, to make sure that all of our citizens are given their constitutional rights.”
Floyd’s police-custody death last May prompted worldwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was caught on video pressing his knee into Floyd’s knee for more than 9 minutes, was convicted last month of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25, 2020 killing.
Chauvin, 45, could receive as much as 40 years in prison at his June 25 after a judge ruled prosecutors proved four of five aggravating factors in Floyd’s murder that warrant an upward departure in sentencing.
But sentences rarely exceed double the guideline maximum, Minnesota attorney Samuel McCloud told The Post last month.
State law mandates that Chauvin be sentenced on the top charge of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.