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Kent Police assistant chief suspended for displaying Nazi symbol on office door

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Derek Kammerzell
Derek Kammerzell/Image credit: Seattleweekly

Derek Kammerzell, an assistant chief with the Kent Police Department, was suspended for two weeks in July 2021 after putting a Nazi symbol above his name on his office door.

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Kammerzell, a 27-year veteran of the department, was suspended by Police Chief Rafael Padilla for violating city policy prohibiting harassment and discrimination and for unbecoming conduct in violation of police policy. Seattle Weekly reported.

“I am deeply embarrassed by this incident,” Kammerzell said in a Dec. 30 email to the Kent Reporter. “I wish I could take it back. I know now what that rank represents, and that is not what I value or who I am. The expectations for an assistant chief are, rightfully, incredibly high. I do my best every day to meet and exceed those expectations.”

The details of the incident were released in December after a public records request to the city of Kent by a group called No Secret Police for documents about the discipline and investigation of Kammerzell. That anonymous group emailed the documents Dec. 27 to the Kent Reporter and the Kent City Council. Seattle Weekly added.

“The city of Kent hired an independent law firm that has extensive experience in employee investigations to investigate thoroughly the alleged conduct of Assistant Police Chief Derek Kammerzell,” the city of Ken said in a statement. “The city then hired a second employment law firm to review the investigation and recommend appropriate discipline. Based on labor law and the advice of the employment law firm, the city believes a two-week suspension was an appropriate and defensible response to the conduct identified in the investigation.”

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The city added: “The city of Kent and Kent Police Department condemn racism in all its forms and are committed to investigate and, when necessary, impose appropriate discipline for every violation of our values and policies. The city took the allegations against Assistant Chief Kammerzell very seriously and stands by its independent investigation and discipline.”

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