Activists Outraged Over Police Officer's III Percenter Tattoo

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File

It’s funny. Right now, being a III Percenter is some terrible crime while being part of Black Lives Matter is something you can admit without any threat of punishment.

Granted, BLM protests have turned into riots numerous times while the III Percenters have only been implicated in precisely one bit of unrest, but that’s not how the media portrays much of anything.

Because of that media representation, an Akron police officer’s career nearly hung in the balance.

The tattoos on an Akron police officer’s left arm tell much of his life story:

A clock shows the birth date and time of one of his daughters. His second daughter’s name is inked directly below that. And his son’s birth date is etched on the arm next to a tank.

But it’s another tattoo on the underside of the officer’s forearm that last month prompted an internal police investigation.

That tattoo, which includes the name of the officer’s third daughter, shows the Roman numeral “III” surrounded by a large ring of stars, a common symbol for Three Percenters, a loosely organized group with roots in anti-government militia that made news this year after several Three Percenters were among those charged in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

The Akron officer has denied being involved in any Three Percenter groups or organizations, according to the internal Akron police investigation obtained by the Akron Beacon Journal.

And the investigation — which included the officer’s social media, use of force complaints and a review of his dealings with the public — found no evidence the officer was involved in any anti-government groups or held any racist or “non-inclusive ideologies.”

So this should be a non-issue, right?

Only, it’s not.

Several III Percenters were part of the mob that stormed the Capitol, sure, but there were thousands of others who had nothing to do with it. Meanwhile, a number of BLM protests turned violent, destroying billions of dollars in property, and yet an officer who shows support for that group won’t even get a talking to.

Frankly, I don’t blame the officer for denying any affiliation with the group. He’s got a family and it wouldn’t be tolerated.

However, if that’s going to matter, then it’s time to also start looking at BLM affiliation as well as any affiliation with Antifa. Both of those groups have been responsible for far more violence than the III Percenters ever have. Unfortunately, though, we’ll never see it. Both of those groups tend to enjoy a certain degree of support from the mainstream media, so affiliation with those won’t earn an officer’s department any scrutiny.

In the process, though, these people aren’t combatting extremism. They’re breeding it.

See, people are looking at this and thinking about how wrong this is. They’ll see the same things I noted above and recognize that the deck is stacked against a group that hasn’t really done much of anything wrong. What they’ll look at is how legitimately violent crimes like Antifa and BLM are ignored and a group that’s done little to nothing–there’s no evidence to support that the III Percenter organization had anything to do with storming the Capitol, only that a few of their members also took part–is being vilified.

A lot of people are going to see just how ridiculous that is and they’re not going to react kindly to it. That may well lead some of them to embrace various brands of extremism in an effort to sort of counterbalance the extremism being permitted and supported.

That’s definitely a bad thing.

Frankly, I’m glad this officer’s career can continue. It never should have been threatened.