This Week in Racism

A George Floyd-Themed Valentine Is Just the Latest Episode of LAPD Behaving Poorly

It’s an embarrassment of riches in our weekly roundup of the world’s most preventable disease!

LEVEL Editors
Published in
4 min readFeb 16, 2021


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Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life. But no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we created a weekly racism surveillance machine. If you already get our newsletter, Minority Report, you’ve likely seen this — but now the rest of the internet can get a taste.

🗑 We’d say we expected more from LAPD, but… nah

Remember how in elementary school when Valentine’s Day rolled around, every kid made a mailbox, and then also made cards for every other kid in class, so that every kid had a mailbox full of cards? And even though there were like 30 kids in your class and your wrist hurt from writing “Happy Valentine’s Day” and you hated that you had to give one to stinky-ass Gerald and you hoped that Kelli would like your handwriting and decide that you were her boyfriend, but you still understood that it was nice that no one felt left out? Well, take all that energy and turn it completely inside-out; now you’ve got an inkling of what possessed someone in the Los Angeles Police Department to circulate a Valentine’s card that depicted George Floyd and the message “you take my breath away.” While it’s not known where the image originated — a similar one was seen on Facebook — LAPD chief Michael Moore confirmed to the LA Times that they were investigating two Instagram accounts that may have ties to LAPD employees, including one called Blue Line Mafia that has seemingly been removed from the platform. Between Daryl Gates and the invention of SWAT, Rampart, and Rodney King, LAPD was already a first-ballot Institutional Racism Hall of…