WV corrections officer class appears to give Nazi salute

Clay Curtis
December 7, 2019

The class reportedly took place from 21 October to 27 November. The remaining trainees remain suspended without pay.

"Based on the photo I have seen and the anti-Semitic intent it appears to show, this behavior warrants an immediate investigation and anyone who participated in any hateful and disgusting action should not be able to work for or by paid by the federal or state government and should be removed from their position immediately", he said in a statement.

Sandy informed all DCR employees on Wednesday of the ongoing investigation and had faith and community leaders briefed as well. An attorney for Gov. Jim Justice said the caption referred to the training class's instructor. He wrote that the picture "betrays the professionalism I have seen time and time again displayed and practiced by our courageous correctional employees".

The memo is attached to the right of this article.

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Several state employees in West Virginia face suspension after a photo emerged showing dozens of corrections officers in training giving a Nazi salute in a class photo, prompting the state's governor to threaten their termination.

Sandy also says that - until the investigation is complete, and because of personnel rules and protections outlined in West Virginia's civil service system - the release of names and disciplinary status of the individuals in the photo as well as an unredacted version of it remains pending.

The cabinet secretary for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety has sent a letter to all employees of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation condemning the photo.

Commissioner Betsy Jividen has directed all copies be destroyed to "keep its harm from spreading" and to "preserve high standards and professionalism of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety". However, the governor's office and the agency in charge of the state's corrections' program isn't yet releasing the identities of those involved or the original photo in question.

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