Officers Suspended Without Pay, Accused Of 'White Power' Hand Gestures In Photo

The mayor suspended four Jasper officers who played the "circle game" during a picture for their local newspaper.

Jasper, AL – Four Jasper police officers have been suspended without pay after they made a circular “okay” hand gesture in a photograph that appeared in a local newspaper.

Jasper Mayor David O’Mary said that some people claimed the gesture was a racist symbol for “white power,” WBMA reported.

The photo was intended as a way to recognize the Jasper drug terrorism task force officers’ hard work in connection with a recent gun and narcotics bust in the area, said Mayor O’Mary, who had arranged to have the image taken.

After the photo was published in the Daily Mountain Eagle, some people complained that the four Jasper officers were making a racist hand gesture.

The officers were actually following a viral trend known as the "circle game" where the goal is to make somebody look at your hand making the OK sign below waist level.

"It's a kid game. Going around and hitting everybody when you see it," one Jasper resident told WBMA immediately after viewing the photo.

The myth that the OK sign actually meant "white power" was started by internet trolls on 4chan, an anonymous message board, in February of 2017, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

“We must flood twitter and other social media websites with spam, claiming that the OK hand sign is a symbol of white supremacy,” the anonymous poster wrote, according to ADL, a civil rights organization. “Leftists have dug so deep down into their lunacy. We must force [them] to dig more, until the rest of society ain’t going anywhere near that s--t.”

Users encouraged people to perpetuate the hoax using hashtags such as # PowerHandPrivilege and # NotOkay, created fake social media and email accounts, and bombarded journalists and civil rights organizations with the misinformation.

Mayor O’Mary said he had not spoken to any of the four Jasper officers regarding what they meant by the gesture, WBMA reported.

They have been suspended for two weeks, and one week of the suspension period will be without pay.

He said that all four of the officers had “perfect” records prior to this incident, and that he would have likely imposed harsher punishment if their histories with the department weren’t so exemplary.

“That's contradictory to how we run our city. That's not our mindset. That's not the way we do things and they used poor judgement,” the mayor said.

"We talked to two senior African-American law enforcement officers that are on the City of Jasper's payroll and they think it's fair and that's a pretty good sounding board,” he added.

Comments (49)
No. 1-46
Hwninblu
Hwninblu

So you ask two black guys on the force and they didn't back up their guys, and the mayor buckling. Wow says a lot about Jasper,

Celtic Gyrl
Celtic Gyrl

Bad move Jasper, Alabama. You’ve been fooled by an internet hoax. And asking two black officers if the punishment you arbitrarily handed down, without speaking to any of the four accused officers, was fair and just was a racist move in and of itself.

spclopr8tr
spclopr8tr

Convicted of a PC hand gesture crime without even bothering to ask them what they thought it implied.

DannyWmo
DannyWmo

Nothing like a quick, knee jerk reaction, which does nothing but now put your officers in potential dangerous light by labeling them as racist when it was nothing more than a childish prank that has been around for a very long time! REALLY need to rethink and reconsider what has happened.

Dthur1003
Dthur1003

Back in 2005 there was a movie with Ryan Reynolds called "Waiting," where this GAME was played...its a GAME and only race-baiting FIDIOTS would think otherwise !!!!

Dthur1003
Dthur1003

The officers should sue !!!!!!!

flagwaver
flagwaver

THat mayor and all the other dipsticks who complained and screamed racist and white supremacist are 100% some kind of stupid!. Now there will be a target on those officers backs for the lunatics who hate LEOs. God bless those officers and God bless Blue lives Matter

Mrs10
Mrs10

So the standard for reasonable punishment lies in the opinions of two people who's race was allegedly offended?! Do they have any idea how they sound to those who actually can think?

Mrs10
Mrs10

Can you imagine the trolls sitting around laughing and thinking how easy it was too stir up the Libs? Seriously, this is disturbing on several counts, but in a more global sense we are so screwed. The ones who run our supposedly unbiased media are the same who get sucked into things like this. They've proven that "Liberal thinking" is indeed an absolute oxymoron!

Aparent
Aparent

That mayor should be fired!!..... that’s such a bunch of bull s$&t. I hope those 5 officers retain a good attorney

jwieder
jwieder

" WHITE GUILT MAYOR "

EricWJohn
EricWJohn

Isn't there a police chief who should be handling discipline in the police department!?

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

Is the mayor also the chief of police here ?? Well done you stupid POS mayor !

jimT
jimT

is the mayor an idiot???? or a weak minded, spineless coward...or all of the above?

Jack17
Jack17

Appears Jasper will be looking to hire several officers. Most Police I know wouldn't stand for this BS.

SDLucas
SDLucas

Seems like the low information voters are electing equally low -information government officials.

magnumforc
magnumforc

If this was a black power gesture, this would never have made the press. Race card from the unending deck yet again.

supporttheline
supporttheline

After hearing some concerns from local residents about these officers going without pay, I decided to set up a GoFundMe to A) help these guys out and B) stick it to this imbecile of a mayor. If you want to pitch in, here's the link:

spd522
spd522

Actually they were just indicating the size of the mayor’s brain.

mamagray
mamagray

Mayor didn't even talk to these Officers so what's up with that? So he just found them guilty on what he was told or saw. No questions asked. 🤔smh.

OyoChick
OyoChick

What, if any, Due Process did these officers receive before being punished and deprived of pay?

JAMSR
JAMSR

This so called mayor is A STONE JAG OFF!!!!!

dbosse
dbosse

The middle finger would have got them prison time I guess. This PC has gone too far.

Missy64
Missy64

I back the Mayor....it takes guts to discipline police officers. These officers were having a picture taken to commend their efforts for a job well done. If more police were disciplned for their mistakes in judgement or (perhaps) racist behavior we wouldn't have all the animosity towards law enforcement. Law enforcement is no place for individuals that are racist, sexist, etc. Police should "Police" their own, so that the people they serve can trust and honor them......not rear them. My question is "Why didn't the Chief impose this or some form of strict discipline?"Loyalty is not an excuse because all police should be loyal to all the people who pay taxes and they are hired to protect. I know city government.....my father was a Mayor for 11 years and a dann good one. It's not easy or popular to always do the right thing, but you have no integrity if you can't stand talk and alone when necessary, regardless of who you are! I commend the Mayor for making a tough call and doing what's right for his city! Carry on Mayor!

Missy64
Missy64

To use any sign that may be conceived as racist in this day and time is inexcusable...esp.for law enforcement. I was really taking your comment seriously until your last bit of profanity. With an attitude like yours your party may be a gathering after a funeral. Each to his own, but dignity and respect cost nothing, but a little self respect and self control. Think about it and have a good day.

kdsq
kdsq

Missy64, I have no respect for anything you said. You are the problem in situations like these. That fact idiots, like you, believe people are capable of being perfect just smacks of arrogance from you and just plain stupidity. If people can't have fun in life then what's the point? The fact some POS scum made this crap up a few years ago, just for people like you to complain, speaks volumes of who you are and how you think. Did you read any of it? Do you know how to do research? And I think you are projecfing from all the garbage daddy put up with as mayor. You are wrong, period.

Brian Drew
Brian Drew

it is a very old game it's just like the punch buggy game we all use to play as children, certainly is not a gang sign and i'm sure the crybaby that made a stupid issue about it has played it before and if not they had no friends and didn't have any sibling and that would be the only way someone wouldn't know about this game,that poor camera man had a few punches coming to him lol,he got busted for sure staring at there ok symbols that is a part of the "see it" game if you can't get your finger into there ok hole and escape without being caught in there death grip the poker gets to punch the OK'er and if he can't poke and escape with being caught the OK'er gets to punch the looker and by the looks of this photo the OK'ers won fare an square and have the proof for the debt of the poker to be punch for seeing and not poking.Wake up people and stop crying about such stupid stuff and stop playing the victim in this world cause in the end all fake victims lose and will live miserably for eternity.

BobbieLee
BobbieLee

You’re kidding, right? You are pretty damned gullible if you believed this crap.

“A previous entry on the hate symbols database of the ADL refers to the use by white supremacists of a two-handed hand sign in which one hand forms the letter "W" and the other hand forms the letter "P", to represent WP or "White Power". The "OK" symbol is the same as the "W" in this two-handed gesture.

The ADL has now suggested the one-handed "OK" symbol alone is not a sign indicating white supremacy. can tell you right now that I use the OK sign”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/OK_(gesture) “The gesture is widely used to mean "all is well" or "good". Where the word "OK" may mean a thing is merely satisfactory or mediocre, as in "the food was OK", the gesture is commonly understood as a signal of approval,[1] and is sometimes used synonymously with the Western "thumbs up" gesture.”

A similar gesture, the Vitarka mudra ("mudra of discussion") is the gesture of discussion and communication (for the number 0) of Buddhist teaching.[2]

In yoga the gesture is known as chin mudra ("the seal of consciousness") when the palm is face down, or jnana mudra ("the seal of wisdom"). In these mudras the middle, ring, and pinky fingers represent the three gunas of rajas, tamas, and sattva which, when in harmony, unite individual and universal consciousness. The pressing together of the thumb and forefinger represents that union—or "yoga"—of consciousness.[3]

Negative connotation

While the gesture is not positive in some countries, in certain parts of middle and southern Europe (although not in Spain or Portugal) the gesture is considered offensive.[4] The connotation of zero or worthless is known in France and Belgium, while in some Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Tunisia, and Greece, in the Middle East, as well as in parts of Brazil and Germany, and several South American countries, it may be interpreted as a vulgar expression: either an insult (you are an asshole), the slang for anus itself, or an offensive reference to homosexuality.[1]

In the Arab world, this sign represents the evil eye, and is used as a curse, sometimes in conjunction with verbal cursing.[5]

Italian = OK French = zero Japan = money

Perhaps you shouldn’t be so ready to accept stupid hashtag tweets because of YOUR racist agenda. Or maybe we just need #gullible for people like you and whoever the idiot is that suspended these guys for this.

Ligoon01
Ligoon01

"We talked to two senior African-American law enforcement officers that are on the City of Jasper's payroll and they think it's fair and that's a pretty good sounding board,” he added." Seriously???

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@BobbieLee sorry, I can't trust your source of the ADL on this website. Unless you're saying that since you believe they are correct here, they are correct overall? There are plenty on this site that would beg to differ.

Crusader 1952
Crusader 1952

Dumb ass mayor!

LEO0301
LEO0301

@Missy64 - I apologize for the profanity. I admit your comment got me upset because you bought into something that is not factual. It's obvious you have never been in law enforcement or spent anytime with a cop. It's a high stress job and it is necessary for officers to find a way to relieve it, even if it is something as silly as the okay sign flashed in a picture. This sign used by the officers is not racist and it is ridiculous to think so without doing your own independent research. Instead you bought into a lie and made a comment that leaves officers absolutely no room to have fun in their lives. I'll leave out the profanity this time....lighten up, will you! The liberal PC culture is ruining this country.

LEOWIDOW
LEOWIDOW

What next? Flashing the two fingers during a photo or while photo bombing someone, is going to be misconstrued as a sign of the devil now? This is completely ridiculous!

Pat1978
Pat1978

As long as they asked two black guys.....

Hang on a second, I think judging a large group of individuals who share a similar trait by the actions or words of a few individuals in that group has a name....

edward6967
edward6967

David O'Mary needs to be run out of town. A mayor suspends officers based on an allegation made by an anonymous web site? I've been playing this silly "OK" game with Tim Gann and I can assure neither of us are members of a white supremacist group! The mayor of Jasper looks like a complete idiot in this instance, any decision making authority he has should surely be questioned. The left has gone to extreme measures to keep shit stirred up with the races, at some point people need to get a f'ing clue as to what's going on around them! It's this kind of ignorance on the mayor's part that perpetuates this sort of stupid mentality. Does he even realize how friggin stupid this makes him look? Talk about phobic-ally challenged, this moron takes the cake. Next week that same site will post something to the effect that people eating 3 Musketeer bars belong Pro-Latin Extremist who want to take over the world. At such time O'Mary will order any public servant who works for the city of Jasper caught eating a 3 Musketeer candybar will be suspended...How do idiots like this get voted into office?

TrueBlue2
TrueBlue2

Do you guys really think that's the only evidence they have on these four cops? I can't wait for all the evidence to come out but I'm sure it's good. They got busted and the city won't be able to explain it away so they had to cut them loose quick before the feds get involved and a report/investigation of the whole dept like in Baltimore. Then the real ugly might get uncovered. They'll get another job.

GMMiller
GMMiller

When will this stupidity end? the only hand gesture that is offensive is the middle finger, or biting your thumb if you're Italian. This PC B.S. needs to stop NOW!

lawandorder
lawandorder

Must be for white supremacy...

Lou I
Lou I

For those that DON'T know. Military plays this game too. Hell one of the womens Team USA Hockey players did it. IT'S A FUCKING JOKE.

Hi_estComnDenomnn
Hi_estComnDenomnn

I thought that was code symbol for tight ass hole.

wmc50
wmc50

Apparently all the scuba divers need to know the "OK" sign they make, while underwater, is racist. Who is in control of the worlds hand gestures and who gets to decide what my use if any gesture means. The middle finger is pretty much the same, I think, but can't say for sure.

PC Mayor is really special. I'd like to be on his jury. Bad day cuz. Bad day.

J1234
J1234

how about same for Angela Merkel every time she pulls a freemason "rhombus" hand gesture.....?

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday