A Manhattan lieutenant is apologizing to officers for kneeling alongside people at a #GeorgeFloyd protest last month.
Performative support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement seems to be the latest trend, as Lt. Robert Cattani says “the cop in him” wanted to “kick” his “own ass” for kneeling with peaceful protestors in honor of George Floyd, who died after MPD officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The New York Post obtained a June 3 email from Cattani, who is an officer at the Midtown Precinct in New York. In the email, Cattani states that he feels remorse for his “horrible decision to give into a crowd of protesters’ demands” and kneel at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan.
“The conditions prior to the decision to take a knee were very difficult as we were put center stage with the entire crowd chanting,” Cattani’s email reads. “I know I made the wrong decision. We didn’t know how the protesters would have reacted if we didn’t and were attempting to reduce any extra violence.” In the video, protestors are chanting in unison at the officers “NYPD, take a knee.” Eventually, the officers kneeled in response.
“I thought maybe that one protester/rioters who saw it would later think twice about fighting or hurting a cop. I was wrong. At least that [sic] what I told myself when we made that bad decision. I know that it was wrong and something I will be shamed and humiliated about for the rest of my life,” wrote Cattani. The officer went on to say that he believed he and other cops know Chauvin was wrong. “We all know that a–hole in Minneapolis was wrong. “Yet we don’t concede [sic] for other officers’ mistakes. I do not place blame on anyone other than myself for not standing my ground,” said Cattani.
He said that kneeling “goes against every principle and value I stand for.” “I spent the first part of my career thriving to build a reputation of a good cop. I threw that all in the garbage in Sunday,” he said. He added that he even considered stepping down as an officer. “I could not imagine the idea of ever coming back to work and putting on the uniform I so wrongly shamed. However, I decided that was the easy way out for me, and I will continue to come to work every day being there for my personnel.”