LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County's top prosecutor and the family of a Black man killed by Minneapolis police last summer have denounced allegations that Los Angeles officers circulated a mock valentine photo of George Floyd with the caption "You take my breath away."
The LAPD has launched an internal investigation and was scheduled Monday to interview the officer who reported the incident, Chief Michel Moore told the Times on Saturday. No further information was available Monday afternoon, an LAPD spokesman said.
Floyd was killed last May after an officer knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly said, "I can't breathe." His death prompted protests and worldwide outrage, which has been amplified by the allegations of the mock valentine.
"This is beyond insult on top of injury — it's injury on top of death," Floyd family attorney Ben Crump said 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."
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon also issued a statement Monday, calling the allegations "exceedingly disturbing" and saying that anyone involved should be fired.
"Celebrating the murder of a Black man at the hands of police demonstrates a profound absence of humanity," Gascon said.
He lauded Moore's "swift action" and said that the district attorney's office also "will be looking into this matter to determine if the integrity of any of our cases may have been compromised by biased police work."
The incident was brought to light by an LAPD officer who reported that a photo of Floyd with the words "You take my breath away" in a valentine-like format was being "passed around" by other officers, Moore said Saturday.