3 Corrections Employees Fired, 34 Suspended For Offensive Class Picture

Sandy Malone

A West Virginia corrections officers' training class posed for a formal photo while performing a Nazi salute.

Glenville, WV – Three people have been fired and 34 more have been suspended without pay after a West Virginia corrections officers’ training class posed for their formal class photo while appearing to give a Nazi salute.

The official class picture, which was included in every packet handed out at the corrections cadets’ graduation from the training academy, was emblazoned with the state seal and showed 37 people holding their arms high in the air.

Text above the photo read “Hail Byrd” in what was apparently a reference to one of their training instructors.

The photo of Basic Training Class # 18 was brought to the attention of West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy on Wednesday, and he released a redacted version to the public this month, WTHR reported.

Sandy said the cadets featured in the photograph were hired in July and had not yet begun working as corrections officers for the state.

He said two training officers and one cadet had been terminated, WTHR reported.

"We have a lot of brave and professional people and this group, this group of 37, does not represent the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation," Sandy said.

The secretary released a memo ahead of the picture, which had faces blurred out, which called the image “distasteful” and “completely inappropriate,” FOX News reported.

"I cannot stress enough how this betrays the high standards and professionalism of the men and women of corrections, who successfully carry out their vital and daunting public safety mission every day and around the clock," Sandy said.

He also said the same cadets featured in the offensive picture had received training to identify white-supremacist groups, according to FOX News.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has called for all 37 people involved to be summarily fired.

“I condemn the photo of Basic Training Class # 18 in the strongest possible terms,” Justice said in a written statement. “I have directed Secretary Jeff Sandy of the Dept. of Military Affairs and Public Safety to continue actively investigating this incident and I have ordered the termination of all those that are found to be involved in this conduct. This will not be tolerated on my watch within the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation or within any agency of state government.”

"This is intolerable to every single breathing human being within this state," the governor said at a press conference on Friday.

Division of Corrections Commissioner Betsy Jividen has ordered that all existing copies of the picture be taken out of circulation and destroyed “to keep its harm from spreading,” CNN reported.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) has called for an investigation into the goings on in his state.

"This behavior warrants an immediate investigation and anyone who participated in any hateful and disgusting action should not be able to work for or be paid by the federal or state government and should be removed from their position immediately," Manchin said.

The state has not released the names of the terminated or suspended officers and cadets, NPR reported.

“These people deserve to be exposed,” the governor told NPR. “They do. They absolutely do. I don't know that I can legally do that.”

Sandy has also refused to release an unredacted copy of the photo without the faces blurred.

He said his agency was aware of threats that had been made against the cadets in the picture and other members of the state corrections division.

“We are allowed by law to balance public safety versus releasing the identity of those,” Sandy explained. “And as I indicated, we've received numerous communications by both telephone and email.”

He told NPR the investigation into the incident was nearing completion and he hoped to deliver a report to the governor’s office soon.

More than 50 interviews, including with the people featured in the picture, have been conducted by state investigators and turned over to the state’s inspector general, WTHR reported.

Comments (86)
Keeblertime
Keeblertime

Racist pieces of shit should all be fired and banned from every working law enforcement again. We don't need pieces of shit like this running around with badges.

No. 1-31
Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Please, snowflakes.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

The first time they find an inmate with contraband, who is not white, and they want to charge him with a crime, this photo will be exhibit A by the defense attorney, indicating any evidence was planted by a racist CO.

Fire the entire class, as well as any instructors who were involved in the photo

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

I'll file this under 'DUH' and cross-file it under 'Pictures That Get @Jim H. - Virginia US 's Aryan Blood Pumping.'

The governor seems to be all about firing and exposing these heinous traitors. The only thing that needs to happen is to find out who these individuals are and tweet it out, if it hasn't been done already. Time to get to work.

Thinblueline
Thinblueline

Appears to be a mix of all races in that picture, very odd that they’re all Nazi’s 🤣

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Funny how many references to Hitler there are these days. That is a universal salute to anyone. It's not a fucking Nazi salute. If the PC police keep this shit up we soon won't be able to move a muscle!

NewHavenWilliam
NewHavenWilliam

What happened to when people would just say "idiots" and leave it at that?

Bad Bob
Bad Bob

That's not a Nazi salute. The palms of their hands are showing, not pointed toward the ground, and their arms are not straight. It's like they are raising their hands, in a classroom, so that the teacher will recognize them.

Ande24392
Ande24392

Francis Bellamy salute. 1892-Dec 1942?

bryantrent
bryantrent

That crap shouldn't be tolerated

Mama1959
Mama1959

Why was it not sent for approval before being released, could have been cleared up beforehand

Raymelson
Raymelson

All I see is a high five of some men being proud of finishing the class an snow flakes crying foul

thomsibley1960
thomsibley1960

I agree with you Mama1959. How the hell was it ok for the photographer who took the picture as I'm sure he/she was a State photographer and should have not taken it at all. I'm so tire of all these hand, arms, and fingers as some sort of RACIST signals. Hell soon you won't be able to wave hi to anyone cause it might afend another group of say... Muslims or Iranians. These days if you're outside and tell a friend that you don't like the color Brown in an open air and a person that is brown/black thinks you're talking about them, but you were talking to another person that asked you about the color of their car. Everything is Racist or you piss someone off cause of your affiliation in a democratic party. Not everyone will like what you say but we're in 2019/2020 age and not everyone has to like what's going on in political race or hand signals just don't use the age own word that those poverty people of color uses like the "N" word. That's a no no for any other color. I was brought up to respect everyone of age, color, and anyone that has authority.

rds40
rds40

The English Soccer term in the 30 gave one to Hitler. Are they doing the same in the photo??? Who knows. If it were me I THINK I'd say "let's think about this or at the very least inn the age of digital photos....maybe we take another.

vwiles34
vwiles34

It said" Hail Byrd " above the photo referring to one of their instructors. So I take it as their way of calling this instructor as a tyrant like Hitler. I don't think this was meant to depict white supremacy but as disrespect toward an unpopular instructor. It was a bit juvenile but I think now days so many people are looking for reasons to be offended they see what they want to see. As being offended is in style this season. But my take is it was a bunch of men & women of various ethnic background that made a bad joke. But considering the cost of training these people at taxpayer expense they should be reprimanded and sent to do their job.

VicG
VicG

Total BS, nothing more, nothing less...

Wish505
Wish505

Guess its ok for the blacks but not the whites. Political correctness and snowflakes have gotten out of hand.

Lochemet
Lochemet

That is not at all a Nazi salute. Anyone who thinks it is should look up the Nazi/Hitler photos. And the Nazi salute is "Heil Hitler" and not "Hail...whoever or whatever." I'm very sensitive to identification with Hitler and the Hitler era, but this does not look anything like it. And to save anyone from doing homework, here's a link to Hitler's standard salute: https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/adolf-hitler-nazi-salute.html

Rcrymes
Rcrymes

It’s all about intent. The caption on the photo was “Hail Byrd”. So, it is definitely referring to Naziism. Whether it is a joke about how strict the person was or something more sinister should be investigated. If the former is true, these men and women should be allowed to serve after punishment of some sort. If the later is true all hell should break loose people should be prosecuted.

oldbat
oldbat

it has gotten so bad that you are afraid to say HELLO for fear of offending someone

RPG156
RPG156

Regardless of their intent, it was SAF to do it for a class photo.

Dezertgem
Dezertgem

They should have done it after, on their own time...there are things you cannot do at work!

BlueS2
BlueS2

I'm so sick of the double standard, suddenly everything, everything is racist. Will we be banning 'white' board, 'white' paper, 'white' house, 'white' wash next? Will black ball, black magic, etc become racist? My family is biracial and I am disgusted at the number of rap songs that use the 'N' word yet no one complains. My daughter heard a group of black kids throwing the word around on the school bus and questioned why I forbid her to use it. What a double standard, White people accused of cultural appropriation but look at Beyonce and all of the other celebs who are wearing straight blonde hair! The one arm salute was around for thousands of years before Hitler corrupted it. The commish who fired the officers should be fired and forced to go through extensive history lessons. That's the trouble with most people today, haven't had any real history background except for the revisionist history that is designed to create a protected class.

Mic911
Mic911

The article I read this morning local news station stated that all employees including class instructor were fired. As well they should!!

Janken
Janken

I doubt if anyone of them like the Nazi's. This probably was donr in a joke. Everything is made so personal. If your white man you are already made to be a traitor. It's gotten where the left is trying to degrade white people. To hell wiTh these people. I am white and proud of it. I AM AN AMERICAN

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Investigative report has been issued.

There were multiple ethnicities giving the Nazi salute.

All cadets in the photo will be terminated. There was no evidence of anything racist, but contributing factors included poor judgement, ignorance, peer pressure, and fear of reprisal.

The gesture was intended pretty much as @IseeWhereThisIsGoing suspected - the cadets have done it as kind of a joke, and kind of "a sign of respect for Byrd."

Instructor Byrd explained herself, that "they do that because I'm hard-a__ like Hitler."

Read it yourself if you want...

governor.wv.gov/Documents/DMAPS%20Executive%20Summary%20and%20Memo%20to%20Governor.pdf

Roman$
Roman$

This is nuts. There is just to many snowflakes that want to cry about everything. Move along there's nothing to see here folks.

TxFlgirl
TxFlgirl

Where is your damn sense of humor folks!?! I don’t believe in what Hitler did, but people refer to his behavior as strict and dictatorship like. Maybe their training officer was similar so they referred him as such. Look at what antifa is doing, and yet I don’t see people being arrested or fired from their jobs for that. Actually they get too much attention if you ask me. Hi

IAMSatisfied
IAMSatisfied

This is politically correct bunk. There is no such thing as a "hate" crime, an "assault" weapon, etc. The straight armed salute was in existence LONG before the Third Reich and was used extensively by American school children to salute the flag. So, now that the Third Reich used it, it's now "evil". Well, guess what... the Third Reich also used toilet paper, is that evil, too? Please, stop worshiping this PC propaganda, as it's crazy-making to the extreme.

LivesMatter
LivesMatter

The problem is that a large amount of the baby boomers were taught its bad throughout the 50s and hammered in by the church heavy conservatives in the 60s. The Nazis took ownership of that type of salute and became a tool used for fear but then used by the USA to catch the vermin and their supporters who thought they could escape justice. Do not use that salute in jest. Put your hand over your heart or give a bent elbow hand on brow salute, right? It mocks the military's history and values of the time. This would not be a joke if it was a similar LEOs getting Mid-East conflict training on a base in France. Just an opinion on a crazy situation where terminations where ram-rodded in due to the exposure.

IsabellaButts
IsabellaButts

That's crazy


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