Police Officer Alleged to Have Nazi Tattoo Is Under Investigation

September 4th 2016

Thor Benson

A viral photo of a police officer at a Black Lives Matter rally who appears to have a Nazi tattoo has sparked an investigation by Philadelphia police. 

Facebook user Evan Matthews posted photos on Wednesday of the officer and explained that the photos were taken at a Black Lives Matter rally during the Democratic National Convention. He wrote the officer is tattoed with the word "Fatherland" above an eagle closely resembles the Reichsadler, an emblem of the Nazi party

The Philadelphia Police Department has since announced that it is aware of the situation, and it will be investigating the officer in question. At this time, it remains unclear if the Philadelphia officer featured in the viral photos has ties to white supremacist groups.

"The Department does not condone anything that can be interpreted as offensive, hateful or discriminatory in any form," the department posted on Facebook on Thursday. "This is a very sensitive topic for both the citizens that we serve as well as the officers providing service to the public. We must ensure that all constitutional rights are adhered to while at the same time ensuring public safety and public trust aren’t negatively impacted."

The photo has dredged up concerns cited in 2006 FBI report about the infiltration of white supremacists into American police departments. The report refers to the term "ghost skins," a shorthand used by white supremacists who avoid outwardly expressing their views in order to blend into societal institutions. 

FBI Text

The report continues by stating “at least one white supremacist group has reportedly encouraged ghost skins to seek positions in law enforcement for the capability of alerting skinhead crews of pending investigative action against them.”