Police have been applauded for kneeling with protesters, but one NYPD Lieutenant now claims he regrets his decision.
At the launch of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, many cops assigned to monitor the thousands taking to city streets responded violently. Millions of protesters exercised their right to gather together, but not all police departments were welcoming. People were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, batons, and the like, but as the days went on—after much criticism—some officers hoped to quell animosities by kneeling with protesters. While this is a highly criticized move, especially considering its a nod to Colin Kaepernick who was vilified for the peaceful gesture, some cops hoped that it would keep the peace in the streets.
Manhattan New York Police Department Lt. Robert Cattani was photographed kneeling with his fellow officers last week, but it's a move that he now claims to regret. Cattani reportedly sent out an email stating that "the cop in me wants to kick my own ass." He wrote “The conditions prior to the decision to take a knee were very difficult as we were put center stage with the entire crowd chanting. 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 added that he hoped that kneeling would keep protesters from hurting officers. “I was wrong. At least that 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.” He added, “We all know that a–hole in Minneapolis was wrong," when speaking about Derek Chauvin, the former officer responsible for the death of George Floyd.
He also said kneeling "goes against every principle and value I stand for."