Philadelphia police investigating after viral photo of cop with tattoo of apparent Nazi insignia

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Philadelphia police are investigating after an officer was spotted in a Facebook post with a tattoo that resembles Nazi insignia.


Facebook user Evan Matthews wrote that the photograph was taken at a July 26th Black Lives Matter rally during the Democratic National Convention. Visible in the photograph is a tattoo of the word “Fatherland” and an eagle, which was the emblem of the Nazi party.

The photograph has been shared more than 8,000 times since it was posted on Wednesday. It has also spread on Twitter.


Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney called the tattoo "incredibly offensive."

Philadelphia police said on Thursday that they are aware of the photo and they are investigating.


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


The Anti-Defamation League told CBS News that although the images are associated with neo-Nazis, it does not necessarily mean the officer shares those ideologies. Nancy Baron-Baer, the ADL regional director, recommended more education among police and the community about these symbols.

According to census figures updated in 2015, Philadelphia is 44% black, 14% Hispanic or Latino, 7% Asian and 2.5% mixed-race. Whether the officer supports Nazi ideology or not, a tattoo that resembles the insignia for racial purity seems misguided at best. At worst, having an officer sworn to protect anyone—and especially the people of a diverse city—with hate speech tattooed on his arm is dangerous.