My view, as a combat Marine veteran, who also lost brothers, regarding Officer Nat Small’s use of the Nazi SS insignia on his forearm, as a former Marine Scout Sniper and now Walla Walla police officer:
This is the point, he has caused in his singular issue the WWPD to lose trust and respect in the eyes of the minority communities and many in the dominant community. This loss of trust will and has directly impacted the ability of the WWPD to accomplish its mission, assigned it by the people of Walla Walla.
How does his need to use this branded SS insignia, that cannot be rebranded to mean anything other than what it means, over weigh the needs of the community to feel safe from discrimination and harm? It should not.
Until the WWPD or this officer address this appropriately this loss of trust will only increase.
To me as a U.S. Marine it is unacceptable to associate this horrific insignia with my beloved Marine Corps. It is unacceptable to the Corps and it should be unacceptable to the WWPD, no matter the intentions and choices of Officer Small. Period. No excuses.
The Marine Corps does not tolerate excuses and neither should the WWPD.