A Philadelphia police officer is under investigation after a photo emerged of him with a pro-Nazi tattoo on his arm.
The photo showed officer Ian Hans Lichtermann with a Reichsadler eagle along with the word “Fatherland” written on his left arm. Though the symbol has been used in many situations, it’s most notable for its association with Nazism.
“The imagery on display in the tweet is disturbing,” Philly mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer. He added: “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 photo was posted to Facebook by a resident named Evan Parish Matthews. According to Matthews, the picture was taken at a protest march during the Democratic National Convention.
In a statement, the police department said it “does not condone anything that can be interpreted as offensive, hateful or discriminatory in any form."
When contacted by a reporter after the photo surfaced, Lichtermann hung up without saying a word.
“City not concerned, neither are we,” Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 John McNesby said prior to Mayor Kenney issuing his statement.
“I see people with panthers on their arm. Doesn't mean they are black panthers. People with crosses on arms doesn't mean they dislike any other religion."
Lichtermann has reportedly been employed with the department since 2003 and earns around $72,000 per year.
The story quickly went viral, with many readers saying the officer is irresponsible and calling for his termination.
“I don't know why anyone with a sane mind would want to associate themselves in anyway shape of form with Nazi... This group was Responsible for one of the most inhumane atrocities in the history of mankind, and the world.. I don't know this Police officer, but I think him getting that Tattoo is very irresponsible,” one Daily Mail reader commented.
“Oh, no, no, no! There's no way this fool should be in law enforcement! Who's doing the psych evaluations on these people? How do they remain on any law enforcement force? Out with him!” another wrote.