A police officer criticized on social media and by Mayor Kenney last year for having a tattoo that appeared to resemble a Nazi eagle has been cleared of any wrongdoing by Internal Affairs.
Officer Ian Lichterman did not violate any department policies for having the tattoo, and an investigation into the matter was completed recently, police said Tuesday.
The tattoo first stirred outrage in September when a Facebook user, Evan Parish Matthews, posted a photo of Lichterman online. The photo was taken at a protest march during the Democratic National Convention in July, Matthews wrote, and it appeared to show Lichterman with a tattoo of a spread-winged eagle on his left forearm, beneath the word Fatherland written in Gothic letters.
Social-media condemnation was swift, and Kenney weighed in by calling the tattoo "incredibly offensive" and adding, "We need to be building trust, not offering messages or displaying images that destroy trust."
Kenney doubled down on that sentiment Tuesday, saying in a statement: "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."
While praising the Police Department's response to a wave of recent protests, Kenney added: "I am confident that the actions of this officer [are] not reflective of our entire force."
The Police Department does not, however, have a tattoo policy, something John McNesby, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, pointed out in September when defending Lichterman.
A police spokesman said Tuesday that efforts to implement a tattoo policy were not yet complete.
Kenney said: "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."