Cincinnati cop fired after he got ‘Pure’ and ‘Evil’ tattooed on his knuckles


Cincinnati cop is fired for failure of good behavior after he got ‘Pure’ and ‘Evil’ tattooed on his knuckles

  • Former Cincinnati police officer Eric Wayda, 50, is appealing his firing after getting tattooing the words ‘Pure’ and ‘Evil’ on his knuckles 
  • The tattoos violated a department policy that bans officers from getting tattooed on their face, neck, head, or hands
  • According to police discipline documents, on top of being a violation of department policy, the questionable ink was also deemed unprofessional
  • During an April pre-disciplinary hearing, Weyda said he did not regret getting his tattoos but admitted their placement was ‘a bad decision’
  • But Weyda argued that he was not meant to convey that he is personally ‘pure evil’ but symbolic of the struggle between good and evil
  • Four months after getting the tattoos Weyda was let go from the department for insubordination and failure of good behavior
  • Weyda has since made an appeal to the Fraternal Order of Police

A Cincinnati police officer fired for insubordination after getting the words ‘Pure’ and ‘Evil’ tattooed on his knuckles is fighting to get his job back. 

Former Cincinnati police officer Eric Wayda, 50, had the words ‘Pure’ and ‘Evil’ tattooed on his knuckles in December 2021.

The tattoos violated a department policy that bans officers from getting tattooed on their face, neck, head, or hands.  

According to police discipline documents obtained by WLWT, on top of being a violation of department policy, the questionable ink was also deemed unprofessional. 

Former Cincinnati police officer Eric Wayda, 50, is appealing the police department's decision to can him after getting tattooing the words 'Pure' and 'Evil' on his knuckles in December 2021

Former Cincinnati police officer Eric Wayda, 50, is appealing the police department’s decision to can him after getting tattooing the words ‘Pure’ and ‘Evil’ on his knuckles in December 2021

But Weyda argued that he was not meant to convey that he is personally 'pure evil' but symbolic of the struggle between good and evil

But Weyda argued that he was not meant to convey that he is personally ‘pure evil’ but symbolic of the struggle between good and evil

‘Officer Weyda’s tattoos are a violation that is ongoing and permanent,’ Cincinnati police leadership wrote. ‘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.’

After discovering the tattoos Weyda supervisors transferred the 50-year-old to the department’s impound lot ‘as a temporary measure to limit his exposure to the public,’ disciplinary records said. 

But even then the department received a complaint from a city vendor about his knuckle tats, officials said. 

During an April pre-disciplinary hearing, Weyda said he did not regret getting his knuckle tattoos but admitted that he made a poor choice of placement, saying: ‘I made a bad decision by getting the tattoos on my knuckles.’

Weyda, who told investigators he has tattoos covering 95 percent of his body, refused to get the tattoos removed because of costs.

He also argued that he was not meant to convey that he is personally ‘pure evil’ but was symbolic of the struggle between good and evil. 

Four months after getting the tattoos Weyda was let go from the Cincinnati Police Department for insubordination and failure of good behavior

Four months after getting the tattoos Weyda was let go from the Cincinnati Police Department for insubordination and failure of good behavior

Quite simply, a police officer's hands should be seen a symbol of safety and security rather than a provocative message of depravity and harm,' CPD captain Craig Gregoire said

Quite simply, a police officer’s hands should be seen a symbol of safety and security rather than a provocative message of depravity and harm,’ CPD captain Craig Gregoire said

‘To be honest, they have meaning to me, not only where they’re at, but what they say,’ he said. 

But CPD captain Craig Gregoire said the tattoos sent the wrong message about Weyda’s intentions as an officer of the law. 

‘Quite simply, a police officer’s hands should be seen a symbol of safety and security rather than a provocative message of depravity and harm,’ Gregoire wrote in a pre-disciplinary hearing summary, adding ‘Officer Weyda’s message also has the very real possibility to cause extraordinary damage to police community relations both locally and nationally.’

Four months after getting the tattoos Weyda was let go from the department for insubordination and failure of good behavior. 

Weyda has since made an appeal to the Fraternal Order of Police. 

‘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.’ 

Weyda was heavily tattooed when he joined the department 2006, but was still in compliance with CPD procedures. 

In 2013 the department updated its tattoo protocol- disqualifying any candidates with tattoos on their face, head, hand or neck- with some exceptions for already existing neck tattoos. 

According to the department, Weyda was well aware of the policy but chose to ignore it, getting additional ‘irregular geometric pattern’ tattoos on his head and neck in addition to the ones on his hands. 

Weyda had also been disciplined for other infractions, including absenteeism and cursing during phone calls, WLWT.com reported. 

2020 was his worst year, with his attendance being deemed ‘unacceptable’ and his customer service, grooming and dress, teamwork receiving a ‘needs improvement’ rating.  

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