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Portland police chief suspends Capt. Mark Kruger for Nazi-era plaques, sends him to tolerance training
Published: Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 12:44 PM Updated: Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 5:05 PM
Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian
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kruger.jpgView full sizeMichael Lloyd/The OregonianPortland Police Capt. Mark Kruger was disciplined for erecting a memorial to five Nazi-era soldiers on Rocky Butte 11 years ago.
Portland police Chief Mike Reese announced today that he's suspending Capt. Mark Kruger for 80 hours without pay and sending him to "Tools for Tolerance" training for erecting a public tribute to five Nazi-era German soldiers at a city park while employed by the police bureau.
An internal affairs investigation, spurred by former Commissioner Dan Saltzman and a former friend of Kruger's, found Kruger brought "discredit and disgrace upon the Bureau and the City," when Kruger nailed "memorial plaques" of five Nazi soldiers as a shrine to a tree on the east side of Rocky Butte Park sometime between 1999 and 2001.
Kruger was a Portland officer at the time, but was not on duty when he erected the plaques. Kruger called the memorial "Ehrenbaum" or "Honor Tree."
Read The Oregonian's coverage of Capt. Mark Kruger of the Portland Police Bureau.
Kruger had taken the plastic plaques, which were affixed to a wooden board, down from Rocky Butte while he was facing federal lawsuits between 2002 and 2005 alleging excessive force during downtown anti-war protests. He gave them to the city attorney's office, which stashed them away for years, until an internal affairs investigator located them recently.
Kruger has written a letter of apology to the chief, the bureau, the City Council and community members.
"Why did I take such an action? I did so as an expression of my interest in military history; many military historians have erected similar reemembrances all over the world,'' Kruger writes. "What I didn't think about was the misperception that could occur if this action became publicly known. I deeply regret this action and apologize for the poor reflection this has caused for the Portland Police Bureau, the City of Portland and my community.''
Ha, ha, fucking asshole gets his. What is this, justice week? Or is what we've done actually working?? Good work people! Fight the power!