The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is currently investigating a complaint filed by one of its officers regarding a racist Valentine’s image that circulated around the department.
The image features George Floyd with a caption that reads “you take my breath away” was shared within the department ahead of Valentine’s Day. The LAPD’s history of racism is well-documented, so it is of no surprise that some of its officers would delight in sharing something so despicable.
Still, in a period when a considerable portion of the nation is still reeling from the impact of George Floyd’s killing and grappling with what it means for police accountability moving forward, the circulation of this image by members of the LAPD is beyond offensive, it is a window into the work of reformation that still needs to be done.
LAPD Police Chief, Michael Moore, told the media that upon the allegations being substantiated that the perpetrators involved would feel his “wrath”, as the department claims to have “zero tolerance for anything with racist views.”
Moore’s stance, though commendable, is in conflict with the culture of policing that has toxified the LAPD for decades. History has shown us that when a police chief of a large-scale police department attempts to discipline the racist actions of its officers, the city’s police union comes to the rescue of the officer(s) involved to absolve them of wrongdoing. If the department’s investigation yields no disciplinary action, I will not be shocked.
It is infuriating and disheartening to know that an act of police violence that has been condemned by many in law enforcement around the nation, would be the punchline of a sadistic joke. That type of racially insensitive ideology cannot be reformed or quelled through implicit bias training.
If the LAPD is not willing to relieve the officers involved of their duties, then they are subjecting a lot of Black and Brown Los Angeles citizens to the violence and brutality of those specific officers. Now, if they care is a completely different argument altogether.
About the Author
Donney Rose is a poet, essayist, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, advocate, and Chief Content Editor at The North Star. He believes in telling how it is and how it should be