He escaped the dangers of life in the streets of the Bronx only to battle for his life in Iraq during two combat tours as a Marine scout sniper. The tattoo features brass knuckles on top of two black lightning bolts that look like the symbol for the SS, or Schutzstaffel, which was a Nazi organization responsible for killing millions of Jews during the Holocaust. “I don’t think an explanation is going to help some people,” he said. The group’s spokesman, Michael Weinstein, also called for Police Chief Scott Bieber to be fired for wrongful exercise of his authority and wrongdoing in his response to the outcry surrounding the tattoo. “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. On Wednesday, June 24, WWPD Chief Scott Bieber spoke at a rally in support of Small, organized by local right-wing groups. From New York to HUSAYBAH . All rights reserved. In February of 2019, the Walla Walla Crime Watch, a volunteer-based local organizer, awarded Small the “2018 officer of the year” award for his “stellar performance at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy – bringing home every award given and in doing so ‘Returning to WWPD with Honor.’” Small’s supporters also herald him as a war hero; he was awarded the United States Armed Forces Bronze Star with a “V” device for his service in Afghanistan during 2010. By Buck Sexton. Many of the members of our mixed-race platoon received this tattoo in honor of our fallen teammate. For those reasons, I have decided to alter my tattoo to eliminate the ‘Double S’ portion.”. Join Facebook to connect with Jonathan Peters and others you may know. As a former Marine, and an American I can tell you that the massive historical illiteracy prevalent in the US is detrimental and infectious in all aspect of American life. Instead, the tattoo is described as a symbol that “embodies a combination of sorrow, guilt and perspective, earned in combat.” (An editor’s note has since been added to the article, explaining the controversial nature of the tattoo. It wasn't until 2012 that it became a controversy. Patino’s status as scout snipers while in the Corps.”, “Understanding that some people might incorrectly infer otherwise from the tattoo if it were visible, officer Small wears and has always worn a long-sleeved shirt while on duty,” the statement said. Scout Snipers receive specialized marksman training at the Marine Corps Scout Sniper School. It looks like an Nazi SS tattoo. The Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is currently considered a secondary MOS, meaning it is not open to new recruits. Read next: The US military is losing the sniper war against Russia, Emily Thornton, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin His decision — which he stated in the letter was made without pressure from the city or his superiors — was not enough for everyone originally concerned about the symbolism of the design, however. “MRFF and our Walla Walla clients were horrified by the police chief’s blatant Christian proselytizing from the back of that vehicle during the recent public protest and where he made it clear that only one person in human history was ever ‘perfect’ who walked the face of the earth; obviously a direct reference to Jesus Christ,” he said. “There is simply no excuse available for Officer Nat Small to continue to sport this shockingly evil Nazi SS symbology on his left forearm,” Michael Weinstein, the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said in a statement. I have even seen some HOG’s get branded with a hot piece of hand-made wire and heated with the SS lightning bolt brand. The double lightning bolt SS tattoo was informally adopted by some members of the elite group. He knew exactly what he was doing, he’s not a 10 year old. Really? The ignorance is a point of pride, just as the cruelty is the point of the current administration’s right wing extremism. Officer Small, a Marine Corps veteran, said the “SS” stands for “Scout Sniper,” and the tattoo is a tribute to his fallen comrade and friend in the unit. July 09, 2020. “We don’t answer to Mr. Weinsten, and that’s all I have to say,” Bieber said. “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,” he said in the release. A US Marine scout sniper unit in Afghanistan posed for a photo in front of a flag resembling the logo of the Nazi SS, the Marine Corps says. Small said he got the tattoo in memory of a fallen Marine and friend who he fought beside as a scout sniper. 0351 was his MOS and the SS stands for scout sniper. In 2012 it was denounced by the Marine Corps. (Not sure if as a joke, being insensitive, or just negligence) No one uses it anymore. View Quote View All Quotes. A US Marine scout sniper unit in Afghanistan posed for a photo in front of a flag resembling the logo of the Nazi SS, the Marine Corps says. A Walla Walla police officer’s tattoo for a Marine scout sniper is drawing controversy. Related: A Washington town is protesting its police department over a Marine veteran's 'Scout Sniper' tattoo. Update 7/9/2020 3:15pm EDT: Nat Small announced he will alter the tattoo to remove the double lighting bolt symbol. After the organization and several community members did not get a response to their initial concerns about the tattoo, a protest was planned last month, but the event was flooded with supporters of local law enforcement instead. It has been part of the unit’s history since at least 2004, according to the Marine Times. The controversy broke on June 4, when images of Small’s tattoo emerged on social media. On June 4, 2020, a picture of me in a short sleeve shirt began circulating on social media referencing a tattoo that, I admit without context could be construed in ways never intended. The Marine Corps on Thursday once again did damage control after a photograph surfaced of a sniper team in Afghanistan posing in front of … In an initial statement on Facebook, the Walla Walla Police Department (WWPD) defended Small and provided an alternative explanation to his tattoo. Viral photos show Nat Small, a police officer in Walla Walla and former US Marine scout sniper, with a tattoo featuring the double lightning bolt symbol associated with the Nazi SS corps (Schutzstaffel). Officer Small, a Marine Corps veteran, said the “SS” stands for “Scout Sniper,” and the tattoo is a tribute to his fallen comrade and friend in the unit. “At the city of Walla Walla and the Walla Walla Police Department, we do not tolerate or condone racism or anti-Semitism of any kind.”, In addition, the WWPD shared a 2012 interview with Small on the military journal Stars and Stripes. I’m not saying that we should necessarily believe anything they say, but it seems obvious that the article should at least clearly present their claim. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a private nonprofit civil rights advocacy organization, in June threatened a federal lawsuit against the Walla Walla Police Department and others responsible if one of three things didn’t happen: removal of the tattoo, alteration of the tattoo or removal of the officer from duty. They adopted the SS logo for 'scout sniper.' But after receiving a torrent of critical comments on the post, the WWPD deactivated its Facebook and Twitter accounts. The S’s beneath was a reference to our service as Scout Snipers. Founded in 2009, Hyperallergic is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a group that was vocal against the Nazi flag incident in 2010, is now threatening to file a lawsuit against the city of Walla Walla and its police department unless they take action to address Small’s tattoo. Back in the 90’s he told me the most worthless commie asses he ever saw in uniform were the officers being promoted and fast tracked under Clinton. “Neighbors have turned against each other and people are refusing to do business with those whose opinions differ. The tattoo on my forearm was an early and heartfelt memorial to my teammate. “And when I became a police officer over 35 years ago, I did not give up my First Amendment right and neither did Nat Small.”, He also said, “I’m not going to lie to anybody and say we are perfect. The WWPD has not responded to Hyperallergic’s repeated requests for comment. A Walla Walla police officer’s tattoo for a Marine scout sniper is drawing controversy. You'd expect a force commonly derided as a "Chair Force" to rank pretty high on a list of U.S. service... Members of the “Fighting Blacklions” strike fighter squadron... Medal of Honor recipient Marine Cpl. Friend sends me a picture of Nat Small, officer with the Walla Walla Police Department, and tattoo aficionado pic.twitter.com/2H8aRzv0JU, “We are aware officer Small has a tattoo in honor of his deceased fellow Marine scout sniper, Claudio Patino IV,” the force said in its now-deleted statement. View Emily Thornton, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin's articles. The protesters held signs in support of Small and the police and chanted “Keep the tattoo.”, Walla Walla, Washington: hundreds of people came out to support a local cop with an SS tattoo. Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all. Bieber gave a short speech to his crowd of supporters that June 24 evening. Jason Delgado is an accomplished Marine scout sniper, entrepreneur, tattoo artist, podcast host, and father. That SS logo dates back to the 1980's. It looks like a scout sniper tattoo. While it recognized that the symbol is associated with Nazi Germany, the department claimed that it was “not the intent or denotation of the tattoo on Officer Small’s arm.”. Weinstein said in an email after Small’s announcement that his organization had not decided yet to pull the plug on their planned federal lawsuit but “guardedly commends Walla Walla police Officer Nat Small for his just-announced decision to remove the hideous Nazi SS symbol from the prominent tattoo on his left forearm.”. “When I became a police officer over 35 years ago I did not give up my first amendment right and neither did Nat Small,” Bieber said in front of hundreds of protesters. 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In 2010, members of a US Marines sniper team in Afghanistan posed for a photo in front of a flag featuring the SS symbol. His sniper unit in Afghanistan adopted the insignia until the military brass shut it down in 2012. Ultimately, Weinstein said, his organization and clients in Walla Walla want Bieber fired for both misfeasance and malfeasance for his actions. They started using that tattoo in the 80’s until a few years ago. Prior to my employment as a peace officer, I served as a Scout Sniper in the United States Marine Corps. Are you folks really going after a Marine because of a tattoo? © 2021 Brookline Media. Members of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which threatened a lawsuit several weeks ago when alerted to the tattoo, said they may still file a federal suit if Small doesn’t disclose how he plans to alter the tattoo and when. In a small city in Washington, a story about a police officer who was photographed wearing a Nazi tattoo on his forearm has rattled the local community. Become a member today ». See more ideas about usmc, sniper, military. “The WWPD’s response has been reactionary and defensive, eroding the trust of our community,” a statement by the synagogue reads. ©2020 Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (Walla Walla, Wash.). “They saw ‘SS’ and associated it with ‘scout sniper’ rather than the Nazis.” Although it was banned in 2012, the use of symbol still persists among Marines snipers, the New York Times reported. Walla Walla Mayor Tom Scribner also chimed in. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service. The only font he could possibly chose is the Nazi SS model??? This item was awarded in Genuine quality to players who pre-purchased Sleeping Dogs on Steam before August 14, 2012, and August 17, 2012 in Europe. When he covers his tattoo on the job, but ventures to the store, off duty and in short sleeves, the man in line behind him at the store is far more likely to see a Nazi than a Scout Sniper… Scout Sniper Tattoo – July 10, 2020. What is the official emblem of the Marine Corps? He is the team's sniper, possessing genetic mutations that give him exceptional eyesight. The article highlights Small’s tattoo but fails to address the Nazi history of the insignia it’s based on. Cause they're idiots! Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Kyle Carpenter... Get the latest in military news, entertainment and gear in your inbox daily. Speaking with the local newspaper the Union-Bulletin, Small said that he understands the concerns but called the accusations against him “unfounded.”. I have even seen some HOG’s get branded with a hot piece of hand-made wire and heated with the SS lightning bolt brand. The Champ Stamp is a community-created promotional cosmetic item for the Scout, Heavy, Engineer and Sniper.The item consists of tattoos in the style of a Chinese dragon, accompanied by bracelets and various other trinkets. “The … I call BS. Additional details about the situation, including the city’s policy on employee tattoos and background information regarding Small’s service with the Walla Walla Police Department, also will be discussed. See more ideas about usmc, sniper, military. For about a month, local residents of Walla Walla have held rallies and sent hundreds of letters and emails to the local city council and the police department urging them to address the employment of Nat Small, a former US Marine scout sniper and current member of the local police force. “We are aware officer Small has a tattoo in honor of his deceased fellow Marine scout sniper, Claudio Patino IV,” the force said in its now- deleted statement. Aug 6, 2014 - Explore Tristin Hedrick's board "USMC snipers" on Pinterest. He said the organization and its local Walla Walla clients needed to see the new design, know when he would have the alteration made and witness action taken against those who allowed the tattoo in the first place, specifically the police chief. The tattoo on my forearm was an early and heartfelt memorial to my teammate. The Champ Stamp is a community-created promotional cosmetic item for the Scout, Heavy, Engineer and Sniper. My personal intent was nothing more than to honor my fallen teammate, with what was a common symbol within the Scout Sniper community at the time. Small said in the letter Wednesday that in his younger years he “might have done anything to keep” the ink and “would have let pride interfere with” his success. Racists and bigots always become indignant when called out for their racism and bigotry. One of those residents is Elyse Semerdjian, a Professor of Islamic World and Middle East History at Whitman College, who shared a letter she sent to city officials with Hyperallergic. You are aware that there are many people, places and things that use the abbreviation SS right? The facts and history of the tattoo matter.”. The Marines Corps issued a statement condemning the use of the symbol and promised to investigate the incident. It looks like an Nazi SS tattoo. The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor What is the significance of each the pieces of the Marine Corps emblem? Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital... Gen. Amos did a review of the regs and had the unit specifically ban this flag and others like it. Nat Small should be required to wear a Short-Sleeve shirt while on duty to identify himself as a HATER in the community. Prior to my employment as a peace officer, I served as a Scout Sniper in the United States Marine Corps. “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. Also, vegas PD requires registration and explanation for all tattoos. Walla Walla police Officer Nat Small announced Wednesday he will alter his tattoo to remove the double S portion, the... By Emily Thornton, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin Quote History. As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever. Marines got tattoos of it back in the days until the chain of command 'discouraged' it. Is it just an abbreviation for “scout sniper?” If so, what’s the history of that? The hourlong protest is a prelude leading right up to Wednesday’s 6:30 p.m. Council meeting as a message over the double lightning bolt “SS” tattoo on officer Nat Small, a former Marine whose “Scout Sniper” memorial tattoo uses the same symbolism for Nazi white supremacy. The United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper Association is non-partisan, nonprofit, tax-exempt, veterans’ service organization under Section 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code. There’s only one person that walked the face of the earth that was perfect.”. The “SS” Schutzstaffel has a history of Nazi anti-Semitism and white supremacy. Jonathan Peters is on Facebook. “At the city of Walla Walla and the Walla Walla Police Department, we do not tolerate or condone racism or anti-Semitism of any kind.”, The article highlights Small’s tattoo but fails to address the Nazi history of the insignia it’s based on. #BlackLivesMatter #ACAB pic.twitter.com/qySUFgAEpe. But I stepped outside of the basement and got some perspective on the world. Scout/Snipers are the same, some would get a tattoo with a reticle and SS in it or around it with the words “Kopfjäger”, the German word for headhunter perhaps attached to it, or something associated with skulls. sniper, warrior, teacher. Just a question and an observation. View All Quotes. The double lightning bolt was the unofficial symbol of Marine scout snipers. Steam Ship, Social Security etc etc etc. More by Hakim Bishara. The Walla Walla metro area leans conservative; however, a group of concerned local residents continues to push for measures against Small ahead of the planned town hall meetings. Instead, the tattoo is described as a symbol that “embodies a combination of sorrow, guilt and perspective, earned in combat.” (An editor’s note has since been added to the article, explaining the controversial nature of the tattoo.). 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. Aug 6, 2014 - Explore Tristin Hedrick's board "USMC snipers" on Pinterest. Leaders of the Walla Walla local synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, have also criticized the WWPD for its inaction. The hourlong protest is a prelude leading right up to Wednesday’s 6:30 p.m. Council meeting as a message over the double lightning bolt “SS” tattoo on officer Nat Small, a former Marine whose “Scout Sniper” memorial tattoo uses the same symbolism for Nazi white supremacy. Hes a retired Marine. The WWPD is expected to provide more information on the decision during a town hall on law enforcement scheduled for later today, June 9. “I regret that I have been an unwitting cause of division in the community that I seek to serve. The Walla Walla City Council declined to comment but has scheduled a series of town hall meetings to address law enforcement issues in the city in response to the controversy. Scout Sniper Tattoo – July 10, 2020. “They didn’t realize that they were associating themselves with something that was racist, fascist,” a Marines spokesman told Reuters at the time. WALLA WALLA, Wa — Walla Walla Police Department Officer Nat Small has written the following statement regarding his tattoo: My name is Nat Small, and I have been a … Please. For those reasons, I have decided to alter my tattoo to eliminate the ‘Double S’ portion.’”, The city of Walla Walla stated in its release that it appreciated Small’s “sensitivity to the concerns raised by members of the community, and welcomed his decision to change his tattoo to better uphold the trust residents place in him as an officer in the Walla Walla Police Department.”. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. “We need to put an end to this debate now because an SS tattoo should not be a debate, not anywhere,” Semerdjian, who also heads the Syrian Studies Association, wrote in her letter. Nathan Small is the officer who sports the tattoo, a relic of his service in the US Marines. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The tattoo combines a brass knuckles and the name of Small’s fellow Marines Claudio Patino IV, who died in battle in 2010 during their service together in Afghanistan. EDITOR’S NOTE: The use of the double lightning bolt logo, like the one in the tattoo depicted with this story, by Marine Scout Snipers was an … Are you folks really going after a Marine because of a tattoo? Small combined the symbol with a picture of brass knuckles and the name of Claudio Patino IV, according to an article in Stars and Stripes. Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful, and radical thinking about art in the world today. Playing the victim by claiming their First Amendment right is being thwarted because a deliberately chosen symbol “means something different to me.” Wrong: like the confederate flag, SS bolts do not mean anything other than what they are just because you said so. I regret that I have been an unwitting cause of division in the community that I seek to serve. Weinstein said his organization has clients representing various Jewish, LGBTQ, people of color and related communities in Walla Walla who expressed disappointment “that the city allowed this issue to go on so long and especially the role of the Police Department headed by the blatantly incompetent police chief, Scott Bieber.”. The double sig runes (SS) in its “Armanen” form has been used to symbolize the function of Scout Snipers since the end of the Vietnam War, and its use is both well documented and verifiable. Steam Ship, Social Security etc etc etc. “If anybody here is from the paper, I know it’s after 5 o’clock, so I’m on my own time,” he said. The item consists of tattoos in the style of a Chinese dragon, accompanied by bracelets and various other trinkets. Scout/Snipers are the same, some would get a tattoo with a reticle and SS in it or around it with the words “ Kopfjäger ”, the German word for headhunter perhaps attached to it, or something associated with skulls. I have a friend who is a retired sergeant major who taught scout/sniper skills. He added he would discuss the matter more in today’s 6:30 p.m. virtual town hall set by City Council. YMMV. At the time, the snipers adopted the double lightning bolt as their symbol. 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.”. Small has been a police officer since November 2018, but was a Scout Sniper in the U.S. Marine Corps beforehand, when he was sent abroad to fight for the U.S. Hakim Bishara is a staff writer for Hyperallergic. On June 4, 2020, a picture of me in a short sleeve shirt began circulating on social media referencing a tattoo that, I admit without context could be construed in ways never intended. Of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of service of tattoos the... ©2020 Walla Walla local synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, have also criticized the WWPD deactivated its Facebook and accounts... The concerns but called the accusations against him “ unfounded. ”, June 24, Chief. A hot piece of hand-made wire and heated with the local newspaper the Union-Bulletin, said! 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