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US: Over 30 prison officers fired over Nazi salute

ANI | Updated: Dec 31, 2019 09:01 IST

Virginia [US], Dec 31 (ANI): Over thirty prison officers in West Virginia will be fired over a class photo in which the participants made a classic Nazi salute.
The termination was recommended by the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety and was approved by Virginia Governor Jim Justice, The Hill reported.
Justice reprimanded the officers and said that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.
"As I said from the beginning, I condemn the photo of Basic Training Class 18 in the strongest possible terms," Justice said in the statement. "I also said that this action needed to result in real consequences -- terminations and dismissals. This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated on my watch in any agency of State government."
Department of Military Affairs demanded the termination of an academy staff member and four academy instructors who had knowledge of the photo and salute and all cadets who participated.
The investigation found the gesture was used in the classroom within the first two or three weeks of training and symbolized a "sign of respect for Byrd," the class instructor.
According to the report the photo was taken multiple times because not everyone was present until Byrd instructed them to do so. Some cadets made a fist instead of the salute in an attempt to appease the instructor.
Byrd gave the photo to secretarial staff as part of the regular procedure and told them to caption it "Hail Byrd," adding, "That's why they do that because I'm a hard-ass like Hitler."
Three people, two training instructors and one cadet were fired when the photo surfaced earlier this month. (ANI)