According to the LAPD, a police officer who was under investigation for allegedly posting Valentine’s Day-themed photograph of George Floyd has been absolved of any crime.
A civilian review board ruled the employee who shared the photograph that said “You steal my breath away” not guilty, according to the department.
Floyd died in May of 2020 after a former Minneapolis cop kneeled on his neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest.
His death sparked months of racial injustice protests and calls for police reform. In June, Derek Chauvin was convicted guilty of Floyd’s killing and sentenced to more than 22 years in jail.
The employee who was sent before a board of rights for posting the George Floyd meme was ruled not guilty, according to the LAPD.
“In this instance, the facts and evidence were heard by a civilian board of members chosen from the community.”
The law enforcement officer has not been identified publicly, and it is unknown whether or not he or she is a sworn official.
The LAPD declined to say which department regulation the employee was found not guilty of breaching, instead referring to the matter as an administrative internal enquiry.
The union branded the image disgusting and asked that those involved be held accountable when knowledge of the meme mocking Floyd’s death broke earlier this year.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League said at the time that “if the photograph was made, ‘liked,’ or posted by a member of the LAPD, the Chief of Police must move promptly to hold those individuals accountable.”
“There must be zero tolerance for this behavior in our profession, and any police officer who feels compelled to be a member of any online group that engages in promotes, and/or celebrates this type of activity should immediately reconsider their career choice because they clearly lack the judgment and temperament to be a member of law enforcement.”
The LAPD claimed in a series of tweets when the photograph was initially made public in February that it was conducting an internal inquiry and that it had “zero tolerance for this sort of behavior.”
Internal affairs authorities at the department stated at the time that they will conduct urgent interviews with staff about the post, including when and where they saw it and who was responsible, according to reports at the time.
In February, LA County District Attorney George Gascón stated his office will investigate the event to see whether “the integrity of any of our cases may have been affected by prejudiced police work.”
“Celebrating the police killing of a Black guy displays a fundamental lack of compassion,” Gascón stated in a statement.
“The fake valentine highlights the deeply troubling, and simply racist, attitudes about the communities we are supposed to protect and serve that pervade the law enforcement community.”
Following the release of the photograph, attorney Ben Crump, who has represented the Floyd family, said the family was “furious and saddened” by the news of its dissemination and demanded that the individual responsible be fired immediately.
“The Floyds are understandably furious. This isn’t just insulting on top of pain; it’s an injury on top of death,” after the photograph was initially reported, he stated in a statement.
“The level of callousness and cruelty required within a person’s soul to commit such a crime is beyond comprehension — and is symptomatic of a far broader problem within the LAPD ethos.”
“We demand that everyone involved be held accountable for their heinous actions and that the family get an urgent apology,” he said.
It’s unknown if the individual who was responsible ever apologized.
CN News did not get a response from the LAPD officers’ union.