By Kristen Johanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the Philadelphia Police Department continues to investigate an officer with controversial tattoos, the union president is now coming to his defense. Their union President spoke to WPHT on Friday morning about the issue and how the officer in question is handling it all.

President of Philadelphia’s Fraternal Order of Police John McNesby spoke with WPHT host Dom Giordano, defending the officer who’s picture of an iron cross and German eagle tattoos has been circulating on social media.

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“He’s never had an issue, he’s never had any problems,” he said.

McNesby explains what the tattoo symbolizes.

“The eagles is a symbol of the German American Police Association, which is a police department sanctioned organization.”

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McNesby said the officer is devastated.

“He’s getting threatening calls & threatening texts,” he said.

He said the cop in question is a military veteran who spent time overseas and has 17 years on the police force.

“He’s highly highly regarded by his supervisors, by his co-workers. He comes to work everyday.”

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Police officials say they are investigating, but have noted the sensitivity and importance of protecting constitutional rights for both citizens and officers.