A Massachusetts police officer has resigned after allegedly scratching a swastika into the paint of a fellow officer's personal vehicle more than a year ago.
Officer Timothy Tufts resigned from the Marblehead Police Department Wednesday, according to the Robert Picariello, the town's police chief.
Tuesday, Picariello said that the incident happened "over a year ago." While he put out a longer statement Wednesday, the chief did not specify when it occurred, saying he became aware of it in mid-November and "immediately began to gather the facts of the incident."
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"I am dismayed and deeply disturbed," Picariello said. "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."
"We were deeply disappointed to learn of this incident, which is both a direct contradiction of the spirit of inclusion we hold dear in our community, and a violation of the high standards to which we hold our law enforcement officers here in Marblehead," the town's Board of Selectmen said in a statement.
Picariello said he has been in contact with the Anti-Defamation League of New England to seek out "training programs and resources for every member of the Marblehead Police Department." He added that an outside investigator would be retained.