Monday 27 January 2020

34 prison officer trainees sacked over Nazi salute in class photo

 

The controversial class photo with students saluting. Photo: Getty Images
The controversial class photo with students saluting. Photo: Getty Images

Dean Grey

West Virginia's governor has fired 34 prison officer trainees who were photographed giving a Nazi salute and also sacked their instructor.

Four instructors are being suspended without pay.

Governor Jim Justice announced his decision after receiving a report from state investigators that the trainees regularly gave the Nazi salute "as a sign of respect" for instructor Karrie Byrd in the weeks prior to the release of the photo. Its release triggered widespread outrage.

"As I said from the beginning, I condemn the photo in the strongest possible terms," said Mr Justice. "I also said that this act needed to result in real consequences - terminations and dismissals.

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"This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated on my watch in any agency of state government."

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