The official responsible for the social media accounts of the Kent (Washington) Police Department, who happens to be the chief’s wife, hid tweets critical of the department’s handling of an assistant police chief who displayed Nazi insignia on his office door and dubbed himself Obergruppenfuhrer.
Derek Kammerzell, a 27-year veteran of the force, at one time had trimmed his mustache so it resembled Adolf Hitler’s. He was also photographed at a local Octoberfest celebration, where he dressed in lederhosen, giving what appeared to be a Nazi salute; Kammerzell said he was waving to someone in the crowd.
On the day the Seattle Times published a report about the internal investigation into Kammerzell’s behavior, Tracey Padilla–a former police commander, wife of chief Rafael Padilla, and the manager of the city’s and police department’s social media accounts–muted a number of responses on the two Twitter accounts that were critical of Kammerzell, her husband and the department.
A citizen watchdog group, No Secret Police, reported to the city attorney’s office that a number of comments responding to official city posts about the investigation had been removed from the Twitter thread. Twitter allows the account owner to mute responses to its tweets that the owner deems to be inappropriate.
While the city attorney, Arthur Fitzpatrick, did not comment on if Tracey Padilla personally censored the responses, he said his office was looking into the issue and that the comments would be restored to comply with the city’s open comment policy.