There used to be a time in America when displaying Nazi symbols would cause a person to be dragged in front of television cameras and federal boards of inquiry in an attempt to root out communists. Those days are long gone. But for one Washington State assistant police chief, displaying Nazi symbols and joking about the Holocaust earned him a massive pay day.
The city of Kent in Washington State was forced to purchase the resignation of Assistant Police Chief Derek Kammerzell, instead of firing him. The strategic move on the part of the city allowed Kammerzell to resign instead of being fired. Had the city chosen to fire Kammerzell he would have likely been allowed to get his job back through arbitration.
At the center of the scandal is Kammerzell who has been with the police department for decades. Kammerzell, according to the Seattle Times, was “first was disciplined in July 2021 after a detective complained that an insignia used by high-ranking generals in Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich appeared on Kammerzell’s office door above his nameplate in September 2020.”
Following an internal investigation it became clear Kammerzell knew full well the insignia “belonged to an‘Obergruppenfuhrer’ — a high official in Hitler’s dreaded paramilitary Schutzstaffel or SS, which was responsible for the systematic murders of millions of Jews and others in Europe during World War II.”
At first, during the subsequent investigation, Kammerzell attempted to claim he had no knowledge the insignia was Nazi and suggested he got the idea to display it from a television series called “The Man in the High Castle”, a fictitious series the plot line of which built upon the notion the Nazis won the war and later occupied America.
Kammerzell’s claim his insignia came from TV was later disproved when a photo surfaced of Kammerzell allegedly displaying the stiff-armed Heil Hitler salute.
Kammerzell was later suspended for two-weeks, an action which drew outrage from the city, and members of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.
The pressure from the community spurred the city to take action. Mayor Mayor Dana Ralph then called for Kammerzell’s resignation. The city then announced it would pay Kammerzell $1.5 million to resign. Interim city Chief Administrative Officer Arthur “Pat” Fiztpatrick later wrote in a statement that city officials:
…strongly believe that settling this matter will be a substantial step toward meeting our commitment to the community and continuing with the excellent work the Police Department is doing.
Yes, that’s right America. A Nazi sympathizer assistant police chief can display offensive Nazi insignias, employed for decades, be paid over a million dollars to resign, have the potential to get hired as a chief in another department, and the taxpayers must fund it all. Nothing spells freedom like loving Nazis and getting paid for it.