First it was a DC police officer wearing a t-shirt in court emblazoned with a symbol of white nationalism. Now, Black Lives Matter activists say they've uncovered at least a dozen officers who posed proudly with a banner they say celebrates violence, intimidation and brutality.
"Law for Black Lives - DC" is filing complaints against a dozen officers with DC's Office of Police Complaints, demanding they be fired, along with anyone else involved in creating the banner.
The logo for the police department's Narcotics and Special Investigations' Gun Recovery Unit, displays a skull and crossbones with a bullet hole in the forehead. It's motto, "Vest Up, One in the Chamber," a reference to bullet resistant vests and readying a weapon to open fire.
The complaint alleges the logo, "associates MPD with threats of death, violence, and the celebration of a climate of police brutality.
"How can residents feel safe when MPD uses racists images, and glorifies, kill shots," asked the group's Eugene Puryear at a news conference Friday.
Police officials just learned about the complaint and are still working on a response. A spokeswoman for Mayor Muriel Bowser us to her statement earlier the week when prosecutors decided against charging an officer after he shot and killed Terrance Sterling, who had hit his car with a motorcycle. At that time, the Mayor said "The relationship between our officers and the communities they serve is built on trust. That trust exists when we hold everyone accountable."
Last month, the police department took an officer of the street after he openly wore a t-shirt to court that featured the Grim Reaper and included an ancient cross adopted as a symbol by white supremacists groups. The cross is inside the "o" in "Powershift," a police unit that focuses on some of the city's toughest crime areas. A statement from Police Chief Peter Newsham call the shirt "disturbing and disgraceful."
The chair of the DC Police Union said he hadn't yet seen the latest skull and crossbones and couldn't comment yet.