Worcester, MA - UPDATE: The Worcester County Sheriff's office stated that the viral photo of the officer's '88' tattoo was a misunderstanding. It was the officer's number on the Norwich University football team.
Correctional officers (CO) hold a position of significant power within the Massachusetts prison system. They are tasked with the duties of supervising activities, inspecting facilities and searching inmates for contraband. It's the CO's job to enforce rules and keep order within the correctional facility.
With the power that they are granted within jails and prisons across Massachusetts, a responsibility exists to act fairly and justly to the inmates they oversee. With the sighting of what is allegedly a Nazi tattoo, some are now arguing that impartiality could be at risk in this power dynamic.
The stylized numbers "88" emblazoned on the correctional officer's arm were photographed by the Massachusetts Bail Fund, which the fund promptly posted it to its Facebook page. In popular culture, 88 is known to be associated with Hitler's reign of terror as the leader of the Nazi party in Germany. The phrase "Heil Hitler" was used by Nazis and Nazi sympathizers during their global conquest and acts of genocide. The letter "H" is the eighth letter in the alphabet. Some suggest that this stylized "88" also hides the Nazi "SS" within it.
Needless to say, this has raised concerns around the internet. "Hopefully they bail on him and fire his ass," said a Redditor.
We have yet to confirm the tattoo or its meaning to the correctional officer.