A Philadelphia police officer who was photographed with a purported "Nazi" tattoo on his arm did not violate any rules, per a recent investigation.
The Philadelphia Police Department says its Internal Affairs division cleared officer Ian Hans Lichterman of any violations, and the division closed the case December 2016, reports the Philly Voice.
Evan Parish Matthews originally posted pictures of Lichterman sporting a tattoo with a German eagle and the word "Fatherland" on Facebook in August 2016, where they went viral.
Matthews noted in the posting that the pictures were taken in July 2016 during a #BlackResistanceMarch while the Democratic National Convention was in town.
Matthew mentioned that the eagle part of the tattoo is called a "partieadler," which appears to match the "Nazi Eagle" described on the Anti-Defamation League's website. However, the ADL site says "not every image of an eagle is derivative of the Nazi eagle."
The "Nazi Eagle" is perched on a Nazi swastika, according to the ADL, but the pictures Matthews posted do not show if the Lichterman's tattoo features a swastika.
Matthews also noted that an "Iron Cross" appeared in the tattoo.
According to Matthews, Adolph Hitler reinstituted the Iron Cross in 1939, and it was awarded to members of the military and police.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement regarding the tattoo, notes the Philly Voice:
I am deeply offended by the tattoo and I think it is completely inappropriate for any law enforcement officer to have such a tattoo given its impact on those they are sworn to protect and serve. Since the investigation determined that the officer couldn't be dismissed because PPD does not have a policy against tattoos, we will draft such a policy so this cannot happen again.
John McNesby, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5 (police union), defended Lichterman, but admitted to not knowing know much about the Internal Affairs investigation.
"I don't know what they looked at," McNesby stated on Jan. 31. "It is very rare that they find no violations."