Police are investigating after a bloody pig head on a spike was left outside a Los Angeles police station. According to TMZ, the gruesome discovery was made outside of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Rampart station Saturday afternoon. The find comes amid growing tensions between the public and police departments across the country following the police killing of George Floyd.
It is unclear if the gesture was a serious threat or a prank, though the LAPD is investigating. Sources told TMZ that the department is reviewing surveillance footage in the vicinity for any clues. It is not known if any suspects have been identified. Sources also told the outlet that officers are being advised to "maintain a low profile" while off duty so as to prevent any confrontations with members of the public.
The gruesome message comes after the LAPD came under intense scrutiny after Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore partially placed the blame of Floyd's death on protesters. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite Floyd's statements that he couldn't breathe. His death immediately sparked protests, including some in Los Angeles that escalated into violence. Addressing those protests, Moore said during a news conference "we didn't have protests last night. We had criminal acts." He accused protesters of "capitalizing" on Floyd's death and said that "his death is on their hands, as much as it is those officers." His remarks immediately sparked nationwide outcry, with many calling for Moore to be fired. Moore later walked back his comments, stating that Floyd's death "was at the hands of a police officer and the officers who stood by," according to USA Today.
At this time, all four officers involved in Floyd's killing have been arrested and charged. Chauvin, a 19-year veteran, was initially charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, though his charges have since been elevated to second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. During a Monday court appearance, a judge set an unconditional bail at $1.25 million or $1 million with conditions.
The three other officers – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng – have been charged with aiding and abetting in Floyd's death. Last week, they were ordered held on $750,000 bond. All four officers' positions with the Minneapolis Police Department were terminated a day after Floyd’s death.