A group of correctional officer trainees and other related individuals were officially fired after a photo surfaced of them performing a Nazi hand salute. Around 30 people were let go from a West Virginia academy for the gesture, and it appears that the instructor of the group evoked Adolf Hitler in having the cadets “hail” her.
As reported by NPR, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice released a statement confirming the firing of the cadets and staff connected with the photo taken by the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation Basic Training Class #18.
The photo, which shows the class giving the raised hand salute and the words “Hail Byrd!” over top of them, was released earlier in the month by the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety; Karrie Byrd was the instructor for the class and was responsible for teaching diversity.
At the time, two trainers and a cadet were let go after the photo made its way inside graduation packets featuring the state seal and the seal of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation. In Gov. Justice’s letter, it was revealed that the incident was investigated over the course of the month and concluded with recommendations of terminating the employees and cadets who engaged in the act.
“As I said from the beginning, I condemn the photo of Basic Training Class 18 in the strongest possible terms. I also said that this act needed to result in real consequences – terminations and dismissals. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated on my watch in any agency of State government,” Gov. Justice wrote.