A New York City police lieutenant has apologized to his fellow cops for kneeling and joining protesters demonstrating against what they claim is systemic racism in law enforcement following the death of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis, the New York Post reported Thursday.
"The cop in me wants to kick my own ass," Lt. Robert Cattani wrote to fellow officers in a June 3 email, the Post obtained.
He called it a "horrible decision to give into a crowd of protesters' demands."
Cattani was one of four New York City police officers who succumbed to chants of "NYPD, take a knee" during a march and protest at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan on May 31, video on Twitter showed.
"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 said in the email. "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."
He justified the action by saying he thought he was appealing to better nature of some of the protesters.
"I thought maybe that one protester/rioters who saw it would later think twice about fighting or hurting a cop," Cattani wrote. "I was wrong. At least that [is] 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."
New York was one of several cities that saw riots and looting, most notably at Macy's iconic Herald Square store, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. Floyd died in police custody after being arrested for using a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store. The riots and protests were sparked by a video showing a white police officer restraining Floyd face down with his knee on Floyd's neck.
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