Who is Michel Moore? LAPD Chief wants cop who shared ‘you take my breath away’ George Floyd meme fired

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Michel Moore announced the decision to send the unnamed cop's case to a disciplinary panel since he doesn't have the power to fire the officer


                            Who is Michel Moore? LAPD Chief wants cop who shared ‘you take my breath away’ George Floyd meme fired
LAPD Chief Michel Moore had previously made controversial comments about BLM protesters regarding George Floyd's death and had apologized (Getty Images)
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Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Michel Moore wants to fire the cop who shared a meme of George Floyd but faces an uphill task in doing so. On Tuesday, May 18, the chief announced that he had taken the "most aggressive act" he could take - send the cop's case to the Board of Rights panel.

The cop, who hasn't been publicly identified found himself/herself in the middle of a massive controversy after sharing a meme of George Floyd, that said, "You take my breath away." The meme was shared earlier this year, sparking an internal investigation at the LAPD. At the time, Moore said that the culprits "will find my wrath". Now, he seems determined to take the strictest possible action he can.

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The chief does not have the power to fire cops in the LAPD, that power rests with the Board of Rights panel. That panel will hear the case, before deciding on the officer's fate. Moore believes the punishment is apt, and hopes the decision "will send a clear message" that the department does not tolerate such behavior because of “how corrosive it is to the public trust” in law enforcement, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

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A decorated veteran officer, Moore's actions are a radical shift from his previous comments on George Floyd, which led to citizens asking for his resignation. Here's everything we know about the controversial officer.

LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore (R) and FBI Assistant Director Bill Lewis discuss the arrest in Mexico of former USC professor Walter Lee Williams during a news conference on June 19, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

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Who is Michel Moore?

A California native, Moore was born in Porterville, before moving all around the country with his parents and four siblings. He graduated high school in Conway, Arkansas, before attending Antelope Valley College. In 1981, he joined the LAPD after graduating with an Associate of Arts degree and quickly rose through the department's ranks. As he worked his way up the department, Moore also attended university. In 1993, he graduated from the University of Redlands with a BS in Business Administration and Management. In 1999, he graduated with an MBA from the same university.

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A year prior to his MBA graduation, Moore was promoted to the rank of Captain. According to his official biography, he was in command during the arrest of notorious LAPD officer Rafael Perez, and during the 2000 Democratic National Convention in the city. In 2002, he was promoted to Commander and to Deputy Chief in 2004. He spent time in charge of LAPD's counter-terrorism, Special Operations, Administrative Services, and a wide variety of other departments. Eventually, in 2018, he was sworn in as the Chief of Police, by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

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Moore's LinkedIn profile also lists a large number of other educational qualifications. In 2011, he completed an Executive Leader's Program from the Naval Postgraduate School and a program at Harvard University. Aside from all this, Moore has also served as a Director for the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union, former President of the Los Angeles County Peace Officers Association, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Police Memorial Association.

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LAPD Chief Michel Moore (Wikimedia Commons)

Controversy around George Floyd

While Moore's tenure has been largely uncontroversial, he did gain notoriety in mid-2020 for equating Black Lives Matter protesters with criminals. In June, Moore was addressing BLM protesters when he said, "we didn't have protests last night, we had criminal acts, we didn't have people mourning the death of this man, George Floyd, we had people capitalizing it. His death is on their hands as much as it is those officers."

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Those comments generated massive rebuke both online and offline. The next day, he was repeatedly asked to resign at a virtual meeting but had the backing of Mayor Garcetti. That led Moore to issue a statement where he said, "I misspoke when I said his blood is on their hands, but certainly their actions do not serve the enormity of his loss and cannot be in his memory." He also issued a series of tweets apologizing for his choice in words. 

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Moore survived the calls to resign and has since worked hard to reinstate the faith of the Los Angeles community. His strong stand against the officer who sent the meme is a sample of that. Under California law, the officer will not be named unless he/she chooses to appeal the Board of Rights panel verdict in a state court. So we may never really know who shared the troubling meme, but Moore's call for action has found some solidarity, with noted lawyer Ben Crump.

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Crump, who represented Floyd's family in court praised Moore's decision and said, "If a person has that kind of mentality, they are not the type of people who we want with a gun and a badge, who are supposed to be protecting and serving all citizens equally."