Philadelphia police have started an internal review after a photograph surfaced online of an officer with a tattoo that the mayor calls offensive.
A tattoo on the uniformed officer’s forearm shows a spread-winged eagle under the word “Fatherland.”
In a statement, the mayor responded to the image by saying:
“The imagery on display in the tweet is disturbing. I find it incredibly offensive, and I know many others do as well. This image is particularly offensive to our WWII veterans who fought valiantly to free Europe from Nazi Germany, as well as all victims of Nazi atrocities. I understand that the PPD will launch an internal investigation, and that should run its course. In this environment — in which open, honest dialogue between citizens and police is paramount – we need to be building trust, not offering messages or displaying images that destroy trust.”
The Anti-Defamation League says the images have been associated with some neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups but cautions they do not necessarily mean the officer shares such ideologies.
Police don’t have a tattoo policy but say they don’t condone “anything that can be interpreted as offensive, hateful or discriminatory in any form.”
The officer’s last name is visible on his badge, but police wouldn’t confirm his full name. A call to a man believed to be the officer was not answered.