Recently, a Massachusetts select committee ruled that it did not have the power or grounds to fire a Williamstown police officer who had kept a photo of Adolph Hitler in his locker for 20 years.
According to the Berkshire Eagle, Andrew Hogeland of the Williamstown Select Board said in a statement that although the photo of Adolph Hitler in Officer Craig Eichhammer’s locker is very offensive, the board does not have permission to fire him.
The board has also said that the requirements for Eichhammer’s shooting are valid. The Berkshire County branch of the NAACP along with other groups condemned Eichhammer’s actions and called for his dismissal.
For his part, Eichhammer, a 31-year veteran of the department, said he hung the photo to make fun of a fellow officer who had a haircut and mustache that looked like Hitler.
Hogeland, in a letter to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said:
While we understand the pain and fear underlying the plea of some of our residents for termination, our understanding of the facts and applicable law is that the Select Board does not have the jurisdiction to overturn or vary these decisions. So there is no doubt: we understand and agree that an officer having a photo of Hitler in a police locker is unacceptable and is very offensive to the community.
To learn more about the history, please visit the Berkshire Eagle website here.
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