A Manhattan NYPD lieutenant who was caught on camera kneeling with protesters last month has issued an apology to his fellow officers, telling them that “the cop in me wants to kick my own a**.”
In an email sent on June 3 that was obtained by the New York Post, Lt. Robert Cattani of the Midtown South Precinct explained that he regrets his “horrible decision to give into a crowd of protesters’ demands” by kneeling in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan during a protest against the death of George Floyd.
“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 wrote. “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.” Video from the day of the protest shows the crowd of rioters chanting “NYPD, take a knee” over and over again until four cops gave in and kneeled to raucous cheers.
In Foley Square, resounding chants of “NYPD take a knee.” Eventually, four cops kneel to huge chants. “We just want to get home safely, same as you,” says one protester. pic.twitter.com/6eRC4h9L0Q
— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) June 1, 2020
Objective reporting for the educated American.
“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 [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.”
“We all know that a–hole in Minneapolis was wrong,” he continued, referring to Derek Chauvin, the officer who has been arrested for Floyd’s murder. “Yet we don’t concede [sic] for other officers’ mistakes,” the lieutenant added. “I do not place blame on anyone other than myself for not standing my ground.” Cattani wrote that taking a knee that day “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,” he explained. “I threw that all in the garbage on Sunday.” Cattani added that since he kneeled, he has struggled to eat and sleep, and he has even thought about leaving the NYPD in shame. “I could not imagine the idea of ever coming back to work and putting on the uniform I so wrongly shamed,” he wrote. “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.”
Of note is the fact that several NYPD cops have been taking a knee in areas encompassing their five-county jurisdiction, including Department Chief Terence Monahan (pictured above).
This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on June 11, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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