Kent Mayor Will Seek Assistant Police Chief’s Resignation After Outcry Over Nazi Insignia

When a Kent assistant police chief posted a Nazi reference on his office door, it prompted a complaint and ultimately an outside investigation that turned up other concerning rhetoric.

Assistant Chief Derek Kammerzell told investigators that he did not understand that what he posted on his door was a Nazi insignia — a rank used by SS officers. But the investigation report states that Kammerzell “was aware” and his explanation was “not plausible.”

In response, Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla suspended Kammerzell for two weeks. Some community members and rank-and-file officers were outraged that Kammerzell did not lose his job.

UPDATE 1/5/2022: At a Kent City Council meeting Tuesday Jan. 4, Mayor Dana Ralph announced she has asked the city attorney to contact the Kent police union and ask for Kammerzell’s resignation. It was a contrast to the city’s previous statement standing by the two-week suspension Kammerzell had already received, and noting his “otherwise stellar” career. Her latest decision followed a statement from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle that said in part, “The absence of true accountability demanded of Kammerzell and the sheer lack of consequences in this situation are shocking.”

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