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LAPD officer cleared of wrongdoing for sharing George Floyd ‘valentine’ meme

A cardboard poster with George Floyd's likeness is held up by a protester amid a crowd.
People protest outside City Hall in Los Angeles in June of last year.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles police officer who shared a photo of George Floyd with the words “you take my breath away” in a valentine-like format has been cleared of wrongdoing and will not face punishment.

The officer, who has not been named publicly, was found not guilty of administrative charges by an internal disciplinary panel made up of community members, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed.

Police Chief Michel Moore had directed the officer to the panel, known as a Board of Rights, in May with the recommendation that the officer be fired. The chief does not have the authority to dismiss officers.

“The Department respects the disciplinary process and will direct employees to a board of rights where it is believed that termination is the appropriate penalty,” the LAPD said in a statement Tuesday.

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The officer chose to have the case heard by a board of three civilians, instead of two LAPD officers of the rank of captain or higher and one civilian panelist. KNBC first reported the panel’s findings.

Moore had ordered an investigation into the racist valentine in February, vowing that if the probe found that LAPD officers were circulating the image, “people will find my wrath.”

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

Floyd, a Black man, was murdered in May 2020. Then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin pressed a knee on his neck as Floyd repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.” His death launched massive protests nationwide over racial injustice and police brutality, including in Los Angeles.

Chauvin was sentenced last month to 22½ years in prison.


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