(Reuters) – The attorney who represented the family of George Floyd over his death at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer issued a statement on Monday following media reports that Los Angeles Police Department members had circulated an image of Floyd with the phrase, “You take my breath away.”
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man whose May 25 arrest was captured on video, pleaded for his life and said he could not breathe as Derek Chauvin, a white officer, knelt on his neck. His death sparked protests against police brutality in the United States and abroad and renewed debate about racism.
The department issued a statement over the weekend acknowledging it was investigating an employee complaint about an image allegedly authored by a department employee, but said it had yet to find any postings.
The image of Floyd with the caption “You take my breath away” in a “valentine format” was circulated among department members, chief Michel Moore confirmed to the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.
Moore told the Times that the officer who made the complaint would be interviewed on Monday and that the department was working to determine how and where the image may have come into the workplace.
“People will find my wrath” if confirmation that officers were circulating the image is found, the chief told the Times.
In a statement Crump, a civil rights lawyer, demanded accountability and an immediate apology to Floyd’s family.
“The Floyd family is understandably outraged. This is beyond insult on top of injury – it’s injury on top of death. 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,” he said.
The Los Angeles Police Department on Monday did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Chauvin’s trial is scheduled to begin on March 8 and the other three officers charged in the wake of Floyd’s death will be tried in August, according to court papers.
(Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Howard Goller)