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VERIFY: ICE agent's tattoo divides social media over Nazi accusations

The emblem tattooed on his left elbow is the 'Titan 2' symbol for his platoon, where he fought in Afghanistan.

QUESTION:

Does the ICE agent featured in a viral photo on social media have a Nazi emblem tattoo?

ANSWER:

No, ICE explains the agent is a former Marine and it's his platoon's symbol.

SOURCES:

ICE Twitter Account

Nestor Yglesias- ICE Miami Public Information Officer

Ron Perlman Twitter Account

PROCESS:

Immigration Control and Protection remains under scrutiny amid immigration contention, now they're being attacked for a photo of one of their employees.

Social media went on a blitz after examining what appeared to be a Nazi symbol tattooed on the employee's arm. People are asking, what's that tat?

What really drove the momentum was a tweet, that's now been deleted, by a fact-checker at The New Yorker, who suggested the tat was an Iron Cross used during the Nazi era.

The New York journalist has since made her Facebook page private.

Actor Ron Perlman, known for starring in Hellboy, also blasted the ICE employee tweeting, "is that an iron cross tattooed on this hero's arm? This is a mistake, right? Cuz the Iron Cross was a symbol of Nazi Germany."

An hour later the actor reneged his comments, saying he rushed to conclusions before he actually 'knew the facts.'

So what are the facts?

Justin Gaerner who now works as a computer forensics specialist at ICE formerly served three combat deployments as a U.S. Marine in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Gaerner served as a fire team leader and lead sweeper for IEDs and was wounded by IEDs, resulting in the loss of both his legs, according to an ICE statement.

Credit: Custom
US Marine Private Justin Gaertner of 1st Combat Engineer Battalion of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade runs to take position after coming under fire from a compound as US Marines assist the Afghan National Army in Helmand Province on July 28, 2009. 
Credit: Custom

The emblem tattooed on his left elbow is the 'Titan 2' symbol for his platoon, where he fought in Afghanistan. The former Marine now volunteers and competes in the para-Olympics.

ICE has a stern warning for anyone trying to benefit of the fake news circulating and called on the New Yorker to issue a formal apology:

"Anyone attempting to advance their personal political opinions by baselessly slandering an American hero should be issuing public apologies to Mr. Gaertner and and retractions. This includes Levin and the New York."

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