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Nat Small, the Walla Walla police officer who was scrutinized for his tattoo associated with the Nazi SS corps, announced he will alter the tattoo to remove the double lighting bolt symbol.
“At one point, the tattoo on my arm was so important to me, that in my young mind, I would have done anything to keep it,” Small said in a statement. “I regret that I have been an unwitting cause of division in the community that I seek to serve. For those reasons, I have decided to alter my tattoo to eliminate the ‘Double S’ portion.”
Small added that he reached the decision on his own and that he wasn’t pressured to remove the tattoo by the Walla Walla Police Department (WWPD) or the Washington city.
“My actions are my actions alone, and not out of fear of repercussions, but rather in an honest effort to bring healing and unity to the community that I serve, in a time of great division,” he said.
A follow-up statement from the city of Walla Walla welcomed Small’s decision and praised the officer’s “sensitivity to the concerns raised by members of our community.”
“We regret the fact Officer Small’s tattoo has contributed to divisions within the community, and we hope his decision to change it will help to unite — rather than untie — us,” Walla Walla Mayor Tom Scribner added.
The WWPD is expected to provide more information on the decision during a town hall on law enforcement scheduled for later today, June 9.
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