Philadelphia Police Will Investigate Officer’s Nazi-Style Tattoo

The Philadelphia police department is looking into an image circulating on Twitter of an officer with what looks like a Nazi-style tattoo on his forearm.

In a statement posted on Facebook, police officials said that the image has been sent to the department’s internal affairs unit for review. The department has no policy on the display of tattoos by officers.

“The Department does not condone anything that can be interpreted as offensive, hateful or discriminatory in any form,” officials said in their statement. “This is a very sensitive topic for both the citizens that we serve as well as the officers providing service to the public.“

The photo, first posted to Twitter on Thursday morning, shows an officer in a bike helmet and shirtsleeves with the word “Fatherland” in gothic script across his left forearm. The top of angular black eagle is visible beneath the lettering.

An angular black eagle gripping a swastika is a Nazi symbol which the Anti-Defamation League describes in its hate symbols database as having been “appropriated by neo-Nazis and other white supremacists worldwide.” No swastika is visible on the officer’s arm.

Police union officials dismissed concerns about the officer’s tattoo in a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“I’ve seen it. It’s an Eagle,” Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 president John McNesby told the Inquirer. “Not a big deal.”

The Inquirer reported that the photo was taken at a July protest during the Democratic National Convention.

Author

Josh Nathan-Kazis

Josh Nathan-Kazis

Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Philadelphia Police Will Investigate Officer’s Nazi-Style Tattoo

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close