Allegations of racism are showing up everywhere in Virginia, and now a sergeant with the Virginia Capitol police was put on paid leave after an anti-facist group claimed his social media posts showed symbols used by white supremacist groups.
According to the Washington Post, Sgt. Robert A Stamm, 36, was put on paid administrative leave on Wednesday as police conduct an investigation.
Capital Police spokesperson Joe Macenka acknowledged that officials were made aware of the posts, but declined to discuss further details in the case.
Perhaps, not so ironically, Stamm was one of the officers assigned to police protests around the State Capitol concerning Gov. Ralph Northam’s own controversy surrounding a racist yearbook photo. It was at these protests that the anti-facist group, Antifascists of Seven Hills, reportedly saw Stamm using a bandage to cover up a large neck tattoo.
The group later published a blog post about Stamm including photos apparently pulled from his social media accounts. Police have confirmed that the man in the photos in indeed Stamm.
In the posts, Stamm, who has been with the department since 2004, is shown with several tattoos, flags, and other symbolism connected to white supremacy and Nazism. One tattoo reportedly shows a “Wolfsangel” symbol, which has been associated with Nazi Germani, the Post notes.
Macenka said that Stamm is “not alone” in covering up a tattoo, as Capitol police policy mandates that officers cover visible tattoos with clothing, although Stamm usually wore a large bandage.
“I honestly don’t know what the tattoo is of,” he said of Stamm’s tattoo. “I have only ever seen the patch.”
The group, according to the New York Times, also claimed that Stamm was “friends with a number of people who claim to be associated with the group Asatru Folk Assembly” – which the Southern Poverty Law Center described as “this country’s largest neo-Völkisch hate group”
The SPLC notes that “Neo-Völkisch adherents worship the Norse or Germanic gods, spirituality premised on the survival of white Europeans and the preservation of dead or dying cultures they presume to embody” and are “organized around ethnocentricity and archaic notions of gender.”