W.Va. employees suspended after photo emerges of correctional officers’ Nazi salute

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several West Virginia state employees have been suspended after a photo emerged depicting a training class of roughly 30 correctional officers performing a Nazi salute.

Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Director Jeff Sandy sent a letter to all employees Wednesday describing the photo as “distasteful, hurtful, disturbing, highly insensitive, and completely inappropriate.”

The photo, on state letterhead, shows almost all of Basic Training Class No. 18 displaying the Nazi salute. Text above the photo reads: “HAIL BYRD!”

Sandy’s letter states that the employees have been suspended and are under investigation, although it does not describe the photo itself.

Brian Abraham, an attorney for Gov. Jim Justice, said Thursday the “Hail Byrd” line refers to the trainees’ instructor. …

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