A New Yorker employee is in hot water after falsely claiming an ICE agent was a Nazi because of his “Iron Cross” tattoo. The so called “fact checker” for the publication, Talia Lavin, deleted her tweet with the false claim after finding out the ICE agent’s tattoo is actually the “Titan 2” symbol of his platoon for when he served in Afghanistan.
The ICE forensic analyst, Justin Gaertner, is a combat-wounded Marine veteran who lost his legs while serving as a fire team leader and lead sweeper for IEDs during one of his three deployments in Afghanistan.
ICE released a statement on Twitter demanding for an apology from Lavin and the New Yorker.
“Anyone attempting to advance their political opinions by baselessly slandering an American hero should be issuing apologies to Mr. Gaertner and retractions,” ICE stated.
Read the full ICE statement regarding erroneous attacks on ICE employee for #military tattoo: pic.twitter.com/BwA8kFWNFV— ICE (@ICEgov) June 18, 2018
The New Yorker eventually responded to the backlash:
“The New Yorker has just learned that a staff member erroneously made a derogatory assumption about ICE agent Justin Gaertner’s tattoo," a spokesperson told National Review. "The personal social-media accounts of staff members do not represent the magazine, and we in no way share the viewpoint expressed in this tweet. The tweet has been deleted, and we deeply regret any harm that this may have caused Mr. Gaertner.”
Gaertner and a fellow combat-wounded Marine veteran had previously done charity work for victims of the Boston bombing.
For ICE, Gaertner works to solve criminal cases and rescue children who are sexually abused.