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A police officer in Massachusetts who allegedly scratched a swastika into the paint of another officer’s personal vehicle resigned Wednesday following an internal investigation into the incident.
Officer Timothy Tufts, who joined the Marblehead Police Department in March 2016, resigned from the force Wednesday following the outcome of the internal investigation, Chief Robert Picariello said in a statement.
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"I am dismayed and deeply disturbed by this incident," Picariello said Wednesday. "Today, there is no room for excuses of ignorance. The swastika is a symbol of hate and genocide, and we must speak up against acts of hate and hate speech whenever and wherever we encounter it. I apologize to our community for this deeply disturbing and unfortunate situation, and I vow to do everything and engage every resource available to ensure that this kind of incident does not repeat itself in the future."
Though the department was first made aware of the incident in mid-November, it was unclear when the officer allegedly carved the symbol notorious for its use by the Nazi Germany regime into his colleague's personal vehicle.
Timothy Tufts from the Marblehead Police Department Facebook page when he joined the department in 2016.
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Upon learning of the matter, Picariello said he immediately began to gather the facts of the incident, and Tufts was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, which is "consistent with the policies and procedures of the department."
Picariello said he has been in contact with the Anti-Defamation League of New England and "will engage their invaluable training programs and resources for every member of the Marblehead Police Department."
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He will also commission an independent administrative review and retain an outside investigator "to conduct a holistic finding of fact so that we can learn all of the facts of this incident and include it in our training programs."
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