Washington, D.C. - A Metropolitan Police Officer is under investigation after a complaint was filed by the group 'Law 4 Black Lives DC', about a shirt that he allegedly wore on duty. What crybabies are calling a "racist" shirt, is actually because of a video game.
The officer has not been officially identified, but Law 4 Black Lives DC mentioned the officer's name in its petition. The officer's name is not being given here because there is no way to verify if the person in the photo is that officer, if that officer is actually the officer under investigation, and the complaint is bogus anyway.
The group has publicized a picture of the back of the shirt, which shows a black T-shirt with the following: a banner at the top which says 'powershift' with all letters capitalized, above an image of the Grim Reaper, with the District of Columbia flag in the background, with the letters MP DC below, followed by the statement "let me see that waistband jo" and the words 'Metropolitan District'.
The issue is about the cross in the letter 'o', in the word 'powershift'. In the banner, the 'o' appears to be a sun cross or Celtic Cross, according to WTOP.
"Power Shift" is the 7 PM-3 AM shift, where all the action happens, and it's common for shift-mates to make shirts or challenge coins to take pride in their shift. These shirts are generally worn off-duty.
The Anti-Defamation League maintains a database of hate symbols, and says of the Celtic Cross:
"The Celtic Cross, as typically depicted, is a traditional Christian symbol used for religious purposes as well as to symbolize concepts like Irish pride. As such, it is a very common symbol and primarily used by non-extremists. Most renditions of the traditional Celtic Cross feature an elongated vertical axis (often accompanied by Celtic knotwork) that resembles that of other Christian crosses. Although white supremacists will occasionally use this version of the Celtic Cross, the overwhelming use of this version of the Celtic Cross is non-extremist and, in the absence of other hate symbols, does not denote white supremacy or racism.
It is the short "sun cross" version of the Celtic Cross, surrounded by a circle, that is more commonly used by white supremacists, although even here care must be taken always to judge it in context."
There is nothing on the shirt to indicate white supremacy or racism. When taken in context, the claims of racism are already questionable.
Considering that Metropolitan Police Department is a majority black department, and this appears to be a shirt made for an entire shift, odds are pretty good that there are black officers with this shirt.
This may leave you wondering why the Celtic Cross is on the shirt in the first place. After all, why add that symbol? The answer is as simple: the font used is from the best-selling video game, Diablo.
A petition started by the group calling for the officer's termination said that the symbol is "a well-known and notorious white supremacist symbol adopted by the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist hate groups." That petition has been signed by thousands of people. The complaint made no mention of the font's use by warriors, rogues, and sorcerers.
It's not clear if anybody has told them that the font was actually created by Blizzard Entertainment (now Activision Blizzard,) makers of World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft.
Eugene Puryear, a member of the complainant group, said, "I don’t think someone should have a badge and a gun or the ability take someone’s life or arrest them if they may be harboring these kind of white nationalist viewpoints."
Journalist Radley Balko of the Washington Post said that defense attorneys had seen other Metropolitan police officers wearing the shirts, including in court, according to The Root.
The Metropolitan Police Department has a policy prohibiting casual wear from being worn during court appearances. Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said that the image was "disgraceful."
A spokesman for the agency said, "The message conveyed on the T-shirt does not represent MPD's values. We understand the trust of the community is critical to our ongoing work and take seriously any incidents that may undermine the confidence the community has in our members."
The DC police union said that both the officer and the union are cooperating in the investigation. The officer has been reassigned during the investigation to an assignment where he does not have contact with the public.