If you saw images of cops gallantly taking a knee during the ongoing protests against police brutality—brutality that has been on display throughout the protests—and mistakenly believed that gesture actually meant anything, you may be in for a surprise.
One such gallant police officer has since sent an email apologizing for his show of solidarity with the idea that black lives matter. According to a report from the New York Post, Lieutenant Robert Cattani of the NYPD said that he has been “losing sleep” after choosing to kneel while working at a protest in the city.
“I was wrong. I know that it was wrong and something I will be shamed and humiliated about for the rest of my life,” Cattani wrote in the mea culpa to his colleagues.
He also hilariously suggests that his fear of the protestors is why he took a knee:
“The conditions prior to the decision to take a knee were very difficult as we were put center stage with the entire crowd chanting,” he wrote.
“I thought maybe that one protester/rioter who saw it would later think twice about fighting or hurting a cop. 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.”
Cattani goes on to add that it was a mistake to “concede for other officers’ mistakes,” by kneeling at the protest against police brutality—saying “we all know that asshole in Minneapolis was wrong.”
It’s a rich statement coming from someone who works for the NYPD, a police force notorious for misconduct.
Meanwhile, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago—another city flush with incidents of police brutality—says that any Chicago Police Department officer who takes a knee in symbolic support of the uprisings against racial injustice will be kicked out of the police union.
“If you kneel, you’ll be risking being brought up on charges and thrown out of the lodge,” Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said to Fox 32 Chicago on Thursday.
Earlier this week, president of the New York Benevolent Police Association Pat Lynch held a press conference where he spoke out against what he called the “vilifying” of police officers, according to a report from The Hill.
“Stop treating us like animals and thugs and start treating us with some respect,” Lynch demanded, right after he dismissed the idea that black mothers worry their children may die at the hands of a police officer.
It seems the police are sending a clear message about where they really stand: in direct opposition to the concepts of accountability and black lives matter.