All the West Virginia cadets pictured giving a Nazi salute will be fired, governor says

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  freefaller  •  9 months ago  •  29 comments

All the West Virginia cadets pictured giving a Nazi salute will be fired, governor says

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



All of the West Virginia correctional cadets seen apparently giving a Nazi salute will be fired, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced. 


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The image, discovered in early December, shows the members of the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation Basic Training Class 18 with one arm raised. The text above reads "HAIL BYRD!" in a reference to a training instructor for the class, according to the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.


The governor condemned the training group's behavior in a statement on Monday.

"We have a lot of good people in the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety," Justice said. "But this incident was completely unacceptable. Now, we must continue to move forward and work diligently to make sure nothing like this happens ever again."

Three staff members at the training academy will also be fired. Four other instructors who failed to report the photograph will be suspended without pay, he said.

Some of the cadets did it because they 'feared they would not graduate'


The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety released the image, with the faces of the trainees and employees blurred, earlier in December. A number of employees were suspended amid an investigation into why the group picture was taken.

Jeff Sandy, cabinet secretary for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, recommended the cadets' firing to Justice.

He noted in his letter to the governor that some of the cadets "were aware of the connotations associated with the gesture, that they were uncomfortable with the practice ... and/or that they only followed what they perceived to be an order" because they feared they wouldn't graduate.

"Nonetheless," Sandy wrote, "their conduct, without question, has also resulted in the far-reaching and harmful perceptions that are the antithesis of the values we strain to attain." 


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Freefaller
1  seeder  Freefaller    9 months ago

Holy crap what a bunch of morons, didn't any of them realize how badly this would go?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Freefaller @1    9 months ago

Apparently not. 

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
1.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Freefaller @1    9 months ago

There just isn't enough duct tape to fix this kind of stupid.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.3  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Freefaller @1    9 months ago

Holy crap what a bunch of morons, didn't any of them realize how badly this would go?

Sounds like a metaphor for the "United" States in general. We have so many that don't understand

the results and consequences, of their own stupidity, it truly is, or at least should be, concerning to us all.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2  JohnRussell    9 months ago

There is more detail to this story. 

All of the cadets pictured giving a “Sieg Heil” salute in a class photo of West Virginia corrections officers have been fired, Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV)  announced Monday  when a  summary of a state investigation  into the photo was released.

The photo, which shows the vast majority of trainees giving the Nazi-era salute and some raising a fist, was the result of a mix of “poor judgement, ignorance, peer pressure and fear of reprisal,” the summary of the investigation said.

The photo of Basic Training Class Number 18, members of which would have stood guard at institutions around the state, rocked West Virginia.

The class’ use of the gesture began in the second or third week of training as a greeting to an instructor,  Kassie Byrd , who encouraged and even sometimes reciprocated it, the investigation found.

She also directed the “Hail Byrd” photo, which the investigation found was taken “several times due to not everyone participating in the gesture.”

When an academy secretary asked about the picture, Byrd said “they do that because I’m a hard-ass like Hitler,” the secretary told investigators.

According to the summary, additional photos on social media showed Byrd and several trainees holding their hands horizontally below their noses, “which has been used to satirically reference Hitler,” the report noted.

When the secretary raised concerns with a captain identified as “Daniels-Watts” — a first name is not given — the captain allegedly said, “Oh, I should just pull it, but since you have them already printed you might as well go ahead and stuff them into the [graduation] packets.”

When two instructors saw the photo in the graduation packets and brought their concerns to Daniels-Watts, the captain allegedly said, “Well that is going to bite us in the ass.”

Daniels-Watts acknowledged being alarmed by the photo but told investigators that she “did nothing.”

“Do I resign now or what…” Daniels-Watts asked investigators.

“Byrd and Daniels-Watts are no longer [Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation] employees,” Lawrence Messina, a spokesperson for the state’s department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, told TPM.

Byrd told investigators she was “completely unaware of the historical or racial implications of the gesture and reported it was simply a greeting,” in the summary’s words, and that no one at the academy told students to stop using it as a greeting to her.

But that was “heavily contradicted” by other witness testimony, investigators said, including by two other instructors who independent of each other said they told the students to stop using the salute. Byrd appeared to overrule those instructors, investigators found.

Jeff Sandy, the West Virginia Cabinet secretary in charge of the state’s prisons, recommended that all trainees in the class photo be fired, along with an additional training academy staff member who failed to report the photo. Sandy also recommended the suspension without pay of four instructors who saw the salute and did not stop it.

Those individuals were not identified, but Justice said he approved Sandy’s recommendations.
 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @2    9 months ago

The instructor told the recruits to give her respect as a "Hitler" like figure, then when the thing went bad she claimed to not know much about Hitler. 

Good riddance. 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
2.1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    9 months ago
The instructor told the recruits to her respect as a "Hitler" like figure, then when the thing went bad she claimed to not know much about Hitler. 

Sounds real plausible

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
2.1.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    9 months ago

Anyone over the age of 20 who does not know much about Hitler has been living under a rock and had to have skipped history in high school.

 
 
 
user image
2.2    replied to  JohnRussell @2    9 months ago

Kassie byrd huh? Wonder if its any relation to Robert byrd, the Democrat KKK grandwizard and mentor to the Clintons...  

 
 
 
Freefaller
2.2.1  seeder  Freefaller  replied to  @2.2    9 months ago

Just can't avoid making something political, sad and pathetic.

 
 
 
cjcold
2.2.2  cjcold  replied to  Freefaller @2.2.1    9 months ago

Everything is political in one way or another. 

 
 
 
Kathleen
2.2.3  Kathleen  replied to  cjcold @2.2.2    9 months ago

No it isn't, I think some like to make it that way for their agendas.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
2.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @2    9 months ago
“Byrd and Daniels-Watts are no longer [Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation] employees,” Lawrence Messina, a spokesperson for the state’s department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, told TPM.

Good.

 
 
 
PJ
3  PJ    9 months ago

Well it looks like Trump has found his next security detail.  

 
 
 
Freefaller
3.1  seeder  Freefaller  replied to  PJ @3    9 months ago

Just can't avoid making something political, sad and pathetic.

 
 
 
PJ
3.1.1  PJ  replied to  Freefaller @3.1    9 months ago

I didn't realize this was a safety zone.  Have my comment deleted if it bothers you.  It won't hurt my feelings. 

 
 
 
Freefaller
3.1.2  seeder  Freefaller  replied to  PJ @3.1.1    9 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Freefaller
3.1.3  seeder  Freefaller  replied to  Freefaller @3.1.2    9 months ago
comment removed for context [ph]

Fucking amazing

 
 
 
PJ
3.1.4  PJ  replied to  Freefaller @3.1.3    9 months ago

Feel free to PM or chat me and pass on your comments.  Sadly I didn't catch it before it was deleted.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
4  Tacos!    9 months ago

What's missing in the lives of these people as they grow up that they think this is ok? How is it a whole room full of people were willing to do a thing like this? Just amazing.

 
 
 
Freefaller
4.1  seeder  Freefaller  replied to  Tacos! @4    9 months ago
How is it a whole room full of people were willing to do a thing like this? Just amazing.

Lol it's just a guess but I'm thinking multi generational inbreeding may be responsible

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
5  Thrawn 31    9 months ago

Fuck'em. Every single one. 

 
 
 
Kathleen
6  Kathleen    9 months ago

An order?

How lame, you know what is right and wrong, that is no excuse. They are all a bunch of idiots.

 
 
 
Freefaller
6.1  seeder  Freefaller  replied to  Kathleen @6    9 months ago
How lame, you know what is right and wrong, that is no excuse. They are all a bunch of idiots.

I'd vote this up multiple times if I could

 
 
 
Split Personality
7  Split Personality    9 months ago

In the final photo I counted four white fists and one black fist.

A black cadet said that those who knew better agreed to make fists and in the next photo at least 10 people did so.

Byrd made them do the photo shoot over after threatening disciplinary action.

I am not convinced that all of the cadets deserved to be fired for caving in to Byrd's threats.

 
 
 
Freefaller
7.1  seeder  Freefaller  replied to  Split Personality @7    9 months ago

I agree that the firings of the students was an overreaction, however threat or not they're still idiots for doing it

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
7.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Split Personality @7    9 months ago

I am.  These are future professionals and if they cave into threats now, they will later with the possibility of disastrous results.

 
 
 
sixpick
8  sixpick    9 months ago

Personally I don't think any of the cadets should be fired.  These are students and just firing or expelling them doesn't teach them anything.  Obviously some or all were either ignorant or fearful for their future with a job they had been accepted to study and learn to do.

We can't always blame it all on them, considering only 12 states require the teaching of the Holocaust, which means ignorance is rampant concerning Hitler.

I would require each of the students to have the opportunity to choose whether they wanted to learn why their actions were so disgusting or drop out of the program.  A short, but intense course that will leave an impression on each of them may enlighten some or all of them to an extent that would be far more effective than expelling them and making them fair game for those who would like to increase their numbers.

And the course should be taught by people who will leave Trump and immigration out of the subject matter, since those on my side of the conversation are able to see a little deeper into this than those who have an agenda.

 
 
 
PJ
8.1  PJ  replied to  sixpick @8    9 months ago

Those cadets were on their way to having immense power and responsibility.  If they did not have the moral courage to speak out behind closed doors what makes you think they could do it when the stakes are life or death?

No, they do not have the moral fortitude to carry out the responsibilities of overseeing other human beings.  

 
 
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