MPD investigate “disgraceful” t-shirt worn by officer

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Metropolitan Police Department officer has been placed on desk duty following allegations he wore an offensive t-shirt while on-duty.

The allegation and complaint was filed by several community activist groups, who have also started a petition to get the officer fired.

A photo of the t-shirt in question shows the grim reaper holding a rifle and the MPD badge, with the D.C. flag behind. Above it reads "power shift", with the "o" replaced by a celtic cross.

"It’s a long known, very popularized white supremacist symbol. As is the grim reaper," said April Goggans, founder of Keep DC 4 Me. She was one of those who filed the complaint.

While there is no mention of the grim reaper on its hate symbols database, the Anti-Defamation League does list the celtic cross as having ties to white supremacy.

Goggans also has issue with the slogan under the grim reaper, which reads "Let me see that waistband jo" and she said references the controversial police tactic "jump outs".

"And the thing that jump outs are known for saying is 'Let me see your waistband, Jo.'," added Goggans.

In a statement, the MPD said it is aware of the allegations and calls the t-shirt “disturbing and disgraceful”. It added the message on the shirt “does not represent MPD’s values”.

Police Chief Peter Newsham also condemned it in a tweet and added it doesn’t represent the officers of the Seventh District.

The bottom of the shirt says “Seventh District” and Goggans said she is concerned there may be more officers with this shirt.

"What you have are people in our neighborhoods that feel like they could go to court, like they could do their job, wearing white supremacist shirts," added Goggans.

An MPD spokesperson said he does not believe any other officers are being investigated related to this shirt.

The officer in question has been placed on non-contact status, or desk duty, pending the investigation’s outcome.

DCW50 News at 10 also reached out to D.C. Police Union leadership, including the Seventh District representative, but have not heard back.

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled April Goggans last name as "Goggins".

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