West Virginia prison employees are suspended after guard trainees are photographed doing Nazi salutes in their official group photo
Corrections officials were suspended amid an investigation into a photo taken of a trainee class giving a Nazi salute
The image includes the words, 'Hail BYRD', a reference to the group's training instructor and all faces of those pictured are blurred
Jeff S. Sandy, the cabinet secretary for the state's Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, which released the photo, has condemned the image
Several employees have been suspended and Division of Corrections Commissioner Betsy Jividen has ordered all copies of the photo be destroyed
Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Director Jeff Sandy sent a letter to all employees condemning the image, while Governor Jim Justice called for all who were involved to be fired.
Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Director Jeff Sandy sent a letter to all employees condemning the image
An investigation is now underway, state officials said.
The state released the image after a public records request was made, reports the Charleston Gazette-Mail .
'It is distasteful, hurtful, disturbing, highly insensitive, and completely inappropriate', Sandy wrote in the letter sent to employees.
'It undermines the high standards that have been set for our Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It betrays the professionalism I have seen time and time again displayed and practiced by our brave correctional employees'.
The image comes after the department has faced heightened legal and public scrutiny, reports the Gazette-Mail.