A Cincinnati police officer who was fired for getting the words “Pure Evil” tattooed across his knuckles has filed a grievance against the department in an effort to get his job back.
Eric Weyda was fired in April for insubordination and failure of good behavior, four months after he got the tattoo. According to WLWT, the Cincinnati Police Department has a policy banning officers from having tattoos on their face, neck, head, or hands. When Weyda was initially hired in 2006, he had numerous tattoos, but they did not violate the department’s policy.
The policy was updated in 2013 to ban certain tattoos but allowed an exemption for most officers who had them when they were hired. The policy stated that any new tattoos would not be permitted.
Officials said that Weyda knew about the rule but decided to ignore it.
When Weyda first got the tattoos in December 2021, he was reassigned to work at an impound lot “to limit his public exposure.” Four months later, he was terminated.
“Officer Weyda’s tattoos are a violation that is ongoing and permanent. Additionally, Officer Weyda’s tattoos do not promote the professional and neutral image of the Cincinnati Police Department and are injurious to the public trust,” officials wrote in internal records obtained by the news station.
The Fraternal Order of Police union said that Weyda is entitled to contest his firing through the collective bargaining agreement.
“The FOP represents all Cincinnati police officers when they participate in the grievance process outlined in our collective bargaining agreement,” FOP President Dan Hils said in a statement. “Every officer is entitled to a fair hearing, and that’s what will take place here.”